What’s next in the wild saga of American politics? Two prominent advocacy groups are urging state officials to pull the plug on former President Donald Trump’s potential run for public office in 2024. Why, you ask? Remember that infamous January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection? Yep, that’s right – the claim is that it was incited by none other than Trump himself.
With a hefty 14th Amendment in hand, Free Speech for People (FSFP) and Mi Familia Vota Education Fund have taken it upon themselves to ask secretaries of state and election officials in nine key states to exclude Trump from future ballots. The 14th Amendment, just for a quick civics brush-up, explicitly bars anyone from office who has sworn to support the U.S. Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.”
Alexandra Flores-Quilty, the campaign director at FSFP, believes that Trump’s role in sparking the violent uproar at the Capitol is clear evidence that he’s ineligible for office. The Constitution, she pointed out, is straightforward on this – once you go the route of inciting insurrection after swearing an oath of office, you’re effectively barred from holding public office again.
The new letters were sent to state officials in California, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. And it’s not just a warning shot. According to Irving Zavaleta, national programs manager at Mi Familia Vota, these officials are within their rights to keep Trump off the ballot due to his incitement of the insurrection.
But hey, why stop at letters and advocacy, right? Both groups are taking their message on the road with organized events in key states, all to coincide with the 155th anniversary of the ratification of the 14th Amendment.
Since Trump left office, he’s been hit with two historic indictments, adding more fuel to the flames of controversy. If the U.S. Justice Department, along with state and local authorities, decide to hold Trump accountable for these crimes, then it could strengthen the case for keeping him off the ballot. FSFP president John Bonifaz certainly believes so. He declares that criminal prosecutions could establish Trump’s liability under the law, but enforcing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment against Trump would ensure the protection of the republic and disqualify the “insurrectionist-in-chief” from holding any future public office.
So, to all the secretaries of state and chief election officials out there: we’re looking at you to uphold the Constitution. After all, isn’t that the true essence of democracy – to hold accountable those who threaten its very existence?