As a liberal watchdog group in Colorado pushes to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot on the grounds that he supports an “insurrection,” Minnesota’s top elections official says his office does not have the authority to make a decision on the matter.
In recent weeks, Secretary of State Steve Simon, a Democrat, said he had received hundreds of “emails, calls and letters” about a legal argument based on a section of the 14th Amendment that Trump could no longer run for office Involvement in the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th.
Secretary of State spokeswoman Cassondra Knudson said most of the contacts were emails asking whether Trump could be removed from the vote. However, Simon said Thursday that his office could not determine whether it was legal for the former president to appear on the ballot.
“The Minnesota Secretary of State’s office has no legal authority to investigate a candidate’s eligibility for office,” Simon said in a news release, noting, however, that Minnesota law allows for court challenges to a candidate’s eligibility to vote.
“Our office will continue to honor the outcome of this process, as we have in the past,” Simon’s statement concluded.
Inquiries to Simon’s office come as legal scholars raise questions about Trump’s electability and challenges to Trump’s 2024 candidacy emerge in court. Some legal observers believe the matter could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
There are only about five months until the first ballots can be cast for Trump, as the presidential primaries begin in early 2024. Minnesota’s primary election is March 5.
Rights groups and scholars argue that the Constitution disqualifies Trump because he provoked a mob of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election.
Under the third section of the 14th Amendment, former elected officials who engage in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States are prohibited from holding office again. The language was added to the Constitution after the Civil War and was intended to bar Confederate officials from holding office again.
On Wednesday, the Washington liberal group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics filed a lawsuit in Colorado seeking to remove Trump from the ballot on these grounds.
Meanwhile, election officials in Maine, Michigan and New Hampshire are investigating the matter.
In late August, New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan, a Republican, received hundreds of calls from Trump supporters about access to Trump’s ballot after a conservative talk show host claimed the state was trying to remove the former president from the ballot, NBC reported News.
Scanlan told NBC he expects challenges but is not participating in the effort to remove names from the ballot. In a statement on the matter, Scanlan said his office has asked the attorney general to review the matter.
Law Review article
The legal argument based on the 14th Amendment gained more attention last month after two conservative law professors highlighted the issue in an article to be published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.
Authors Michael Stokes Paulson, a professor of constitutional law at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, and William Baude of the University of Chicago argue that the language prohibiting insurrectionists from holding office remains enforceable and by the amnesty legislation passed in the 19th century – which repealed most penalties against former Confederate officials.
“Despite its long slumber, Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment is alive and kicking.” It remains in full legal effect,” the authors write at the conclusion of their 126-page article. “It is constitutionally self-executing – that is, its command is automatically operative and directly implemented by the Constitution itself.”
The authors, who are members of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group, also argue that the ban goes beyond Trump – it could apply to anyone else who took part in the rally and storming of the US Capitol on January 6th . or efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
https://www.twincities.com/2023/09/07/minnesota-secretary-of-state-trump-ballot-eligibility-not-his-decision/ Trump’s eligibility to vote is not his decision – Twin Cities