Hearings set to begin on Trump’s 14th Amendment disqualification: Could Donald Trump really be disqualified from serving as president again? A hearing in one of the lawsuits alleging that is set to begin.
Donald Trump In Legal Trouble?
In recent months, efforts have been gaining steam on the possibility that former President Donald Trump could be disqualified from running again for president.
The argument, as put forward earlier this year by a pair of conservative law professors, states that the 14th Amendment bars those who have engaged in insurrection from appearing on the presidential ballot and that because of January 6, that applies to Trump.
Since then, there have been multiple lawsuits by those seeking to block Donald Trump from the ballot. One of those, from Colorado, goes to court on Monday.
According to the Associated Press, that hearing is set to begin Monday in Colorado before another hearing gets underway in Minnesota on Thursday. The report states that even if the courts block Trump from the ballot, the decision is likely to be appealed.
The Colorado suit was filed by the liberal group known as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), along with several Republican voters and former elected officials in Colorado.
“Four years after taking an oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the Constitution as President of the United States … 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,” the suit says, per the AP.
“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.”
Meanwhile, MSNBC published an interview with Colorado’s secretary of state, Jena Griswold, in which she noted that Trump’s silence over that specific case was “deafening.”
“This is a novel situation, and the petitioners who filed this lawsuit are six Colorado voters — Republicans and unaffiliated voters — who challenge that Donald Trump is disqualified under the U.S. Constitution,” Griswold said in the interview. “Section three of the 14th Amendment says that any person who swears to uphold the Constitution and then engages in rebellion or insurrection, or provides aid or comfort to the enemies of the Constitution, cannot take office. So that’s what the case is about.”
Trump is not expected to appear for the trial; the former president’s civil fraud trial in New York is already ongoing.
“Trump’s counsel will be there representing him. So will the Colorado GOP. And I think one of the big takeaways of this case is it’s a novel situation because we’ve never had a president try to steal the presidency. And then on top of that, we’ve never had a president who has tried to steal the presidency run for office again,” this secretary of state said.
The Supreme Court earlier this fall declined to hear a similar case filed by John Anthony Castro, a long-shot Republican presidential candidate.
At issue is Section Three of the 14th Amendment, and how it might be interpreted by the courts. That amendment followed the Civil War and was meant to prevent former Confederates from running for office after the end of the war.
“Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment forbids holding office by former office holders who then participate in insurrection or rebellion. Because of a range of misperceptions and mistaken assumptions, Section Three’s full legal consequences have not been appreciated or enforced,” the conservative law professors William Baude of the University of Chicago Law School and Michael Stokes Paulsen of the University of St. Thomas School of Law wrote in a widely-cited article earlier this year.
Judges, so far, have rejected multiple chances to throw the Colorado suit out of court. However, the idea that Donald Trump will actually be dropped from the ballot remains a long shot.
Author Expertise and Experience:
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.