Trump Lawyers Argue Against Ballot Disqualification

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team is responding to efforts to use the 14th Amendment to disqualify him from running for the White House.

Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans have filed lawsuits in various states to keep him off the ballot, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits people who have engaged in a rebellion against the United States government from holding office.

Attorneys representing the former president argue that those claiming he headed up a rebellion by disputing the outcome of the 2020 presidential election are using a flawed legal strategy.

Attorney Geoffrey Blue wrote in a Colorado court filing Monday expressing “At no time do Petitioners argue that President Trump did anything other than engage in either speaking or refusing to speak for their argument that he engaged in the purported insurrection.”

“The Fourteenth Amendment applies to one who ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion,’ not one who only ‘instigated’ any action,” he added. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was originally included to apply to former members of the Confederacy after the conclusion of the Civil War, and many legal scholars have publicly stated that this does not apply to the former president.

Earlier this year, legal analyst Jonathan Turley wrote an op-ed in which he criticized the effort to use the 14th Amendment to disqualify Trump. He argued the evidence would not have supported a charge of incitement or insurrection against Trump, and that the 14th Amendment does not apply to someone who merely disputes the outcome of an election.

“Sulking in the Oval Office does not make Trump a seditionist,” Turley wrote. “The reason is obvious. The evidence and constitutional standards would not have supported a charge of incitement or insurrection…It remains clear that Trump was never involved in any ‘insurrection’ or rebellion against the government, therefore, the notion that the 14th Amendment applies is absurd on its face.”

Trump has also spoken out against the effort to disqualify him from running for president, often referring to it as a “witch hunt” or the “political stunt” that it is. “They’re trying to stop me from running for president again because they know I’ll win,” Trump said at a rally in Florida last week. “But they won’t succeed. The people of this country are behind me.”