Efforts to stop former President Donald Trump from running in the 2024 presidential election continue, with two advocacy groups reported to be lobbying secretaries of state and election officials across more than half a dozen states to block the former president from appearing on their respective presidential election ballot papers.
The Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and the Free Speech For People organizations are behind the campaign to deny the former president the ability to win key electoral college votes in the next election, which would almost certainly guarantee a win for the Democratic presidential candidate.
The two groups have sent letters to officials in the states of Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Georgia, Colorado, and California requesting that they “carry out their responsibility” to block the former president from running by accusing him of violating the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. Specifically, the groups claim that Trump is guilty of having “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States – a clause of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment designed to prevent those who have attempted to overthrow the Republic from running for office.
In a statement, the Free Speech For People group – an advocacy organization that promotes the extreme concept of “equity” – claimed that there is “overwhelming” evidence that the former president “incited and mobilized the insurrection on January 6, 2021 at our nation’s Capitol.”
Trump and January 6
Despite the claim, the group did not provide evidence that the former president instructed or incited individuals to overthrow the government. The group also failed to acknowledge evidence that conservatives have long pointed to – including transcripts from a speech made by the former president on January 6 – that Trump explicitly told protestors to make their voices heard “peacefully and patriotically.”
“The evidence is overwhelming that Donald Trump incited and mobilized the insurrection on January 6, 2021 at our nation’s Capitol,” Alexandra Flores-Quilty, campaign director for Free Speech For People claimed in a statement.
“The U.S. Constitution is clear that anyone who takes an oath of office and then engages in insurrection is forever barred from holding public office again. Election officials must carry out their duty, follow this constitutional mandate, and bar Trump from the ballot.”
A Failed Argument Says Conservatives
Democrats have long argued that former President Donald Trump should be barred from running for office for a third time, citing the same provision outlined in the 14th Amendment. In December, 2022, House Democrats introduced legislation that would prevent Trump from holding any federal office citing the contested claim that he “incurred an insurrection.”
Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who led the legislative effort, claimed that Trump “very clearly engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021 with the intention of overturning the lawful and fair results of the 2020 election.”
Many Republicans believe that the 2020 election was not fair, however, and the claim that Trump incited an insurrection is disproven by the former president’s own instructions to his protestors on the day of the January 6 riot.
The proposed legislation has not passed.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.