Things are getting ugly.
According to Fox, Individuals from both conservative and liberal perspectives have argued that there might be grounds for excluding former President Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot. However, a number of legal scholars consider this assertion not only unlikely but also potentially fraught with risks.
According to the legal theory, Trump could face disqualification from the ballot because Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Disqualifications Clause, prohibits individuals who have been involved in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or who have supported those engaged in such activities, from holding public office.
Furthermore, this section includes a provision that permits Congress to “remove such disability” through a “vote of two-thirds” in both chambers.
Nevertheless, numerous legal scholars have found the rationale behind the Disqualifications Clause to be unconvincing.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley argued that while some views favor these claims, it can be very dangerous to follow through with these ideas.
Turley explained that the amendment’s original intent was to address individuals involved in a genuine rebellion resulting in significant casualties. He pointed out that some proponents are now attempting to broaden the scope of ‘insurrection or rebellion’ to encompass unsubstantiated allegations and disputes related to election fraud.
Turley expressed his longstanding criticism of former President Trump’s speech on January 6. He characterized the events at the Capitol on that day as a “protest that escalated into a riot.” Turley emphasized the importance of this definition when considering the application of the 14th Amendment. Notably, he pointed out that Trump has not been formally convicted of insurrection or incitement to rebellion.
“According to these advocates, Trump can be barred from the ballot without any charge, let alone a conviction, of insurrection or rebellion,” Turley explained.
Turley also mentioned that advocates of this approach contend that Congress need not take any action, suggesting that state and federal judges could independently prevent individuals who are perceived as supporting rebellion through their election challenges and claims from holding public office.
Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, shared his opinion with Fox News Digital, asserting that there are no legal grounds to prevent Trump from appearing on the ballot through the 14th Amendment.
He pointed out that liberals had previously made similar arguments against various conservatives leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, citing the events of the January 6 Riots. According to Von Spakovsky, those attempts were all unsuccessful. He highlighted a key aspect often overlooked in these discussions, which is that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is often talked about as if it is currently in effect.
Von Spakovsky brought attention to the provision within the Disqualifications Clause that requires a two-thirds vote by Congress to “remove such a disability.” He argued that the legislature has already taken steps to remove this clause, suggesting that it no longer applies.
“In 1872, they passed the Amnesty Act,” Von Spakovsky explained, “and it effectively eliminated the disqualification outlined in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, with some specific exceptions. These exceptions included individuals who had served in two of the Congresses immediately preceding the Civil War and members of the military who had dual service in both the Union Army and the Confederacy.”
He continued, “In 1898, Congress enacted a second amnesty act that removed all of those exceptions. As a result, the Disqualification Clause, as it stood, has been entirely nullified. It is no longer valid.”
Nevertheless, despite the obstacles, certain legal scholars assert that there exist avenues to prevent Trump from appearing on the ballot, and this concept continues to garner attention and discussion.
Numerous states are dealing with calls to exclude Trump from their ballots, but it appears unlikely that these proposals will be seriously considered or acted upon.