Movements are gaining steam to kick Donald Trump off the ballot as a new lawsuit is filed: The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is the latest entity to sue to disqualify the former president from the election ballot.
Why You Might Not Ever Vote for Donald Trump Again If One Group Has Its Way
In recent weeks, the argument that former President Donald Trump is not eligible to serve again as president has gained some steam.
While that argument has been made for a couple of years, a pair of conservative law professors authored a paper last month arguing for Trump’s disqualification and brought the efforts into the mainstream.
The idea is that under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was passed after the Civil War, those who have participated in insurrections should not be eligible for office.
A lawsuit called John Castro v. Donald Trump, filed by an obscure Republican presidential candidate, was distributed to the U.S. Supreme Court justices this week, although it’s not clear if the Castro suit will actually be heard by the Court, and it’s unlikely to be the last word. Officials in different states have declared some sympathy for that interpretation of the Constitution.
However, federal Judge Michael Luttig said on MSNBC this week that the question of Trump’s eligibility will likely be decided, eventually, by the Supreme Court.
“This is one of the most fundamental questions that could ever be decided under our constitution,” Luttig said over the weekend on MSNBC’s Velshi. “And it will be decided by the Supreme Court of the United States sooner rather than later, and most likely before the first primaries.”
Now, another suit has been filed, by the liberal group known as CREW (The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington), seeking to disqualify the former president. CREW’s suit was filed on behalf of “six Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters including former state, federal and local officials.”
The plaintiffs include Rep. Claudine (Cmarada) Schneider, who represented Rhode Island but now lives in Colorado, along with former Colorado House and Senate Majority Leader Norma Anderson, politician-turned-columnist Krista Kafer, and three others.
The suit is meant to disqualify Trump from the presidential ballot in Colorado specifically. But CREW, which is known for frequently suing politicians, has vowed to file similar suits in other states.
“If the very fabric of our democracy is to hold, we must ensure that the Constitution is enforced and the same people who attacked our democratic system not be put in charge of it,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder said in the group’s statement.
“We aren’t bringing this case to make a point, we’re bringing it because it is necessary to defend our republic both today and in the future. While it is unprecedented to bring this type of case against a former president, January 6th was an unprecedented attack that is exactly the kind of event the framers of the 14th Amendment wanted to build protections in case of. You don’t break the glass unless there’s an emergency.”
The CREW announcement added that “Section 3 has not been tested often in the last 150 years, due to lack of insurrections.”
“Donald Trump has failed this test,” the CREW lawsuit says, citing Section 3 and the former president’s actions in seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“Four years after taking an oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the Constitution as President of the United States, U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, Trump tried to overthrow the results of the 2020 election, leading to a violent insurrection at the United States Capitol to stop the lawful transfer of power to his successor. By instigating this unprecedented assault on the American constitutional order, Trump violated his oath and disqualified himself under the Fourteenth Amendment from holding public office, including the Office of the President.”
Some members of Congress, including Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), have expressed interest in the idea that Donald Trump is disqualified, although Kaine stated on CNN this week that he expects the matter to be resolved in the courts.
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Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.
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