Activists want to disqualify Trump from the ballot in battleground states
Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/Getty Images
Two civil rights organizations are launching a campaign to pressure state governments to disqualify former President Donald Trump from appearing on ballots for the 2024 election.
The two activist groups say secretaries of state are empowered under the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from running for office because of the Jan. 6, 2021 storming of the Capitol, according to The Hill.
Starting Sunday, Mi Familia Vota and Free Speech for People to Host a Week of Rallies and Banner Drops in front of the offices of the secretaries of state of California, Oregon, Colorado and Georgia.
The groups also wrote a letter to Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar last month, asking him to block Trump from the ballot under what is known as the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause.
“We are really focusing on Nevada and California and [Oregon, Colorado y Georgia] to make sure they're taking a stand by disqualifying Trump in those spaces, which is something the Secretary of State can do." said Héctor Sánchez, executive director of Mi Familia Vota.
The groups are calling their campaign "Trump is disqualified" and timing it to coincide with the 155th anniversary of the 14th Amendment, according to a statement.
“Trump is responsible for the January 6 insurrection, plain and simple,” said Alexandra Flores-Quilty, campaign manager for Free Speech For People.
“Failure to hold him accountable not only violates the Constitution, but also sets a dangerous precedent by allowing violent attacks on our democracy. That is not a risk we can afford to take,” Flores-Quilty said.
Why are they invoking the 14th Amendment?
Although Trump has been accused in two congressional impeachments and was not sanctioned in both trials and is also under investigation in other cases, the groups say that those are not disqualifying facts under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
However, the groups believe that Trump's role in the January 6 insurrection, for which he is also under investigation, fits the definitions of the constitutional clause.
that clause excludes from a series of public positions people who “having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, has engaged in an insurrection or rebellion against it, or given aid or comfort to its enemies. But Congress may, by a two-thirds vote of each House, remove such incapacity."
According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), it is unclear whether the clause prohibits individuals from being president, a position not explicitly mentioned in Section 3, and whether the events of January 6 rise to the level of "insurrection." or rebellion against” the United States.
But at least one official in New Mexico, Couy Griffin, was removed from his position as elected county commissioner for his role in the storming of the Capitol.
Griffin was convicted of participating in the storming of the Capitol before losing his job, but CRS notes that the Constitution "does not expressly require a criminal conviction, and historically was not required."
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