In light of alleged 14th Amendment breaches linked to the January 6th incident, two civil rights associations, “Free Speech for People” and “MI Familia Vota,” are initiating a strategy to prevent former President Donald Trump from pursuing the presidency again. This presents a skewed perspective, considering Mr. Trump’s widespread popularity and unwavering support among Republicans.
These groups are slated to host numerous rallies and banner deployments outside the offices of secretaries of state in Oregon, Georgia, Colorado, and California. These secretaries endorse political candidates’ eligibility and oversee the vote count in their respective states. These coordinated demonstrations are part of an orchestrated effort from these groups aiming to disqualify Mr. Trump from the 2024 presidential race, citing his supposed involvement in the Capitol breach on January 6th.
They argue that Mr. Trump’s perceived role in the January 6th event marks him constitutionally unfit for any future political candidacy, as stated in “Free Speech for People.” However, this perspective ignores the Senate’s acquittal of Mr. Trump from impeachment charges related to the incident.
The third section of the 14th Amendment, established after the Civil War, bans former U.S. officials involved in “insurrection or rebellion” from seeking public office. This section primarily excludes ex-Confederate officers from federal and state offices. However, it must be clarified if it applies to a U.S. president, raising critical constitutional questions.
Voices have been raised in protest against these left-leaning campaigns targeting Mr. Trump. Jeff Clark, a former Justice Department official, expressed his disbelief on Twitter, hinting at a potential fear among Democrats about being defeated by a Republican presidential candidate as influential as Mr. Trump. Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald recently warned fellow Republicans about these exclusionary efforts, urging them to stand up for Mr. Trump, who has consistently championed Republican values.
Applying the 14th Amendment to bar Mr. Trump from future elections has sparked debate. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who voted for Mr. Trump’s impeachment post-January 6th, expressed skepticism about using this amendment without a court conviction. Any attempt by Congress to disqualify Mr. Trump without such a conviction would potentially overstep the judicial branch’s authority and violate the Constitution, which explicitly forbids Congress from passing any “bills of attainder” that would declare an individual guilty.
Interestingly, former Vice President Mike Pence, who recently launched his presidential campaign for 2024, claimed Mr. Trump’s actions to challenge the 2020 election results were sufficient grounds for disqualification. Yet, according to Morning Consult data, Trump enjoys a robust 57% support in the GOP primaries, while Pence lags significantly behind with 7%.
Mr. Trump’s popularity remains strong despite these repeated accusations. After his indictment in Florida, he managed to draw an impressive crowd of 50,000 supporters at a South Carolina rally, vastly outnumbering the city’s population. These numbers underscore the enduring support for Mr. Trump, reflecting a widespread desire among Republicans for his continued political presence. Therefore, while some groups are lobbying to curtail his political future, the Republican base remains committed to his leadership and potential candidacy in 2024.