Even with the myriad of politically motivated indictments they are launching against former President Donald Trump, Democrats still seem to be desperate to ensure that they will not have to contend with the Orange Man What Is Bad™ in the 2024 presidential election. After years of floating the idea that they could possibly deem Trump ineligible to hold office again under the 14th Amendment, some are actually trying to put that plan into action.
In South Florida, an attorney is taking legal action to keep Trump off the ballot:
The lawsuit, citing Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, wants the federal courts to enforce the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, added after the Civil War to prevent people who engaged in rebellion against the United States from holding office again.
Lawrence Caplan’s lawsuit asserts the provision clearly applies to Trump:
“President Trump’s efforts both in Washington, as well as in Georgia and perhaps other states, as well as the consequential assault on the U.S. Capitol … make him ineligible to ever serve in federal office again. Now given that the facts seem to be crystal clear that Trump was involved to some extent in the insurrection that took place on January 6th, the sole remaining question is whether American jurists who swear an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution upon their entry to the bench, will choose to follow the letter of the Constitution in this case.”
Caplan concluded that the “bottom line here is that President Trump both engaged in an insurrection and also gave aid and comfort to other individuals who were engaging in such actions, within the clear meaning of those terms” as spelled out in the 14th Amendment “Trump is no longer eligible to seek the office of the President of the United States, or of any other state of the Union.”
The idea that anti-Trumpers are trying to make a reality is that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment bars the former president from holding office because he supposedly incited the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building. This gambit was promoted once again when legal scholars Laurence Tribe and J. Michael Luttig authored a piece making this argument.
But the attorney in Florida was not the only one. Another lawyer in New Hampshire is taking similar action:
On Tuesday, Bryant “Corky” Messner, a lawyer who lives in New Hampshire, became the first person to announce concrete plans to do just that.
Messner was endorsed by Donald Trump when he ran for a New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate seat in 2020. Now, he says that as a veteran and a graduate of West Point, his civic duty compels him to try to keep Trump off the ballot.
“I really don’t view myself as turning on Trump, as odd as that sounds,” he told ABC News. “I love this country. I’ve served this country. I’ve taken an oath to this country. My sons are serving right now and I believe someone’s got to step up to defend the Constitution.”
Messner first announced his plans on a local radio show, NH Today, on Tuesday morning.
He says he is still doing initial legal due diligence on the topic and finding a lawyer to bring the case. He plans to finance the legal challenge himself and through his own personal network.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of these legal challenges crop up as the election season continues. In this instance, Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans seek to use the Constitution to prevent a political opponent from running for office.
To be clear: This is nothing more than a political move. It has nothing to do with the principles of the Constitution. These people dislike Trump and they don’t want him to have another chance at occupying the White House. I explained in a previous article why the 14th Amendment tactic isn’t valid – and these people know it. This is a longshot ploy coming from desperate people who are afraid that Trump might actually defeat Biden or whoever they put up to run in 2024. But they might have to go back to the drawing board on this one.