A lawsuit in Denver is one of many attempts to stop Trump from making it on the ballot in 2024. Americans are asking whether or not these legal roadblocks will prove to be consequential.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
Make It Stop
Voters in states like Colorado and Minnesota have had enough of Trump’s antics and want to ensure he can’t win in 2024. Lawsuits in both states are attempting to use the 14th Amendment to disqualify the former president from holding office again.
Insurrection or Rebellion
The 14th Amendment states that no one holding a government office, including that of the president, “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
Will It Work?
Prosecutors in these cases are arguing that January 6th and Trump’s role in it fall under the 14th Amendment, thereby disqualifying Trump from becoming president. But Americans aren’t so sure these cases will work.
Wait A Minute
“Isn’t it an issue if he hasn’t actually been convicted of insurrection? Or even charged?” one commenter asked. Many replied that the prosecutors are arguing Trump “aided” the insurrection, which is enough.
“Historically, the 14th Amendment was used to keep Confederate soldiers and officeholders off the ballot,” another person said. “These people were not convicted or charged with anything, but there was clear evidence that they had served in the rebellion and were excluded from the ballot.”
Out of Date
Still, a few wondered if the 14th Amendment really applied, given its historical context. “Perhaps an issue,” one person pointed out, “is that the constitution and modern case law have never tackled the specifics before.”
A Bad Precedent
Some worried that using the 14th Amendment in this context could set a bad precedent. “If they allow this,” how wide a door do they open for future challenges of candidates?” one person asked.
Does It Matter?
Others noted that these are state cases. “Would being barred from running in those states materially affect his chances of winning?” one commenter asked. “That is, was there a reasonable expectation of any electoral college votes for him from those two states anyway?”
No Direct Impact
“Both Colorado and Minnesota are strong Democratic president states. So, no direct impact. However, the loss of Trump could reduce Republican turn-out and impact downstream Republican races, such as Lauren Bobo in the House,” one person explained.
“More importantly, rushing these two states will help set legal precedents that cause bigger dominos to fall,” another person said. They went on to mention that there are many other states watching the Colorado and Minnesota lawsuits closely.
Headed to SCOTUS
Others thought it likely that these cases would land in the Supreme Court, at which point the rulings would affect the entire country. As one person noted, if SCOTUS rules against Trump and “states refuse to remove him from the ballot, voters can file lawsuits citing the SCOTUS ruling to get him taken off.”
Right Leaning Justice
A few thought that the cases were a waste of time. They said that if they made it to the Supreme Court, the court would rule in Trump’s favor because three of the justices are Trump appointees.
Not on His Side
One person pushed back, though, saying, “Just because Trump appointed three of them and two others are far-right ideologues doesn’t guarantee they’ll side with him. They have lifetime appointments now and sided 7-1 against him on the 1/6 records case.”
Much of the prosecution’s argument is about barring Trump from state ballots, which led many to say voters would write his name in. After all, Trump isn’t lacking in name recognition.
But the 14th Amendment doesn’t stop a candidate from running for office. It bars them from holding office. “Even if they write him in, and he would somehow win, he would be barred from being sworn in and actually taking the office,” one person noted.
Many agreed, though, that if there were enough Trump write-ins to hand the former president a win, there would be problems. “It would, of course, be a huge legal deal/constitutional crisis,” one person said.
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