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Two civil rights organizations are commencing a campaign to exert pressure on state governments to prevent former President Trump from appearing on the 2024 ballots.
According to The Hill, the groups argue that the 14th Amendment grants secretaries of state the authority to disqualify Trump from running for office due to his involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.
Mi Familia Vota and Free Speech for People will initiate a series of rallies and banner drops outside the offices of the secretaries of state in California, Oregon, Colorado, and Georgia, beginning on Sunday.
Last month, the organizations also sent a letter to Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar, urging him to invoke the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause and prevent Trump from running.
Héctor Sánchez, the executive director of Mi Familia Vota, emphasized the importance of Nevada and the aforementioned states taking a stance by disqualifying Trump, as secretaries of state have the authority to do so.
The campaign, named “Trump is Disqualified,” is strategically aligned with the 155th anniversary of the 14th Amendment.
Secretaries of state hold the responsibility of certifying the eligibility of candidates and overseeing the vote count in their respective states.
While Trump has faced two indictments and is the subject of ongoing investigations, the groups argue that these factors do not meet the disqualifying criteria outlined in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
However, the groups contend that Trump’s involvement in the January 6 insurrection aligns with the constitutional clause’s definitions.
This clause prohibits individuals who have previously taken an oath as a member of Congress, an officer of the United States, a member of any State legislature, or an executive or judicial officer of any State, from holding public offices if they have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States.
The Congressional Research Service notes that it remains unclear whether the clause applies to the presidency, an office not explicitly mentioned in Section 3, and whether the events of January 6 constitute “insurrection or rebellion against” the United States.
However, at least one official, Couy Griffin, was removed from his position as an elected county commissioner in New Mexico due to his involvement in the attack, even without a criminal conviction.
The campaign’s leaders believe they can persuade some secretaries of state to interpret the clause as they do, thereby impeding Trump’s chances in the upcoming election.