The Attorney General’s Office of New Hampshire is Reviewing Whether the 14th Amendment Could Keep Trump Off the Ballot
The Attorney General’s Office of New Hampshire is currently “carefully reviewing” the question of whether the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution could prevent former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state’s ballots in the upcoming election.
The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, includes Section 3, which was originally intended to bar former Confederate officials from holding public office after the Civil War. This section disqualifies individuals who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the Constitution.
New Hampshire’s Attorney General John Formella and Secretary of State David Scanlan released a joint statement stating that no decision has been made regarding Trump’s alleged involvement in the U.S. Capitol incursion on January 6, 2021. They clarified that neither office is arguing for or against Trump’s eligibility to be elected president again.
The state AG’s office is currently “reviewing the legal issues involved” at the request of the secretary of state’s office, as stated in the joint statement.
It is worth noting that both Formella and Scanlan are members of the Republican Party.
Conservative legal scholars William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen have argued in a forthcoming paper that Trump should be disqualified from holding the presidency again.
This paper has led talk show host Charlie Kirk to claim that New Hampshire officials are working to keep Trump off the ballot, as reported by NBC News.
However, Scanlan denied this claim, stating that he is not seeking to remove any names from the presidential primary ballot. He clarified that his request for legal input from the AG’s office is to ensure that he can respond appropriately with the facts when making decisions on challenges to qualifications.
New Hampshire GOP Chairman Chris Ager also dismissed the issue as a non-issue, expressing confidence that all 14 current candidates will be on the ballot.
In a separate statement, Ager expressed confidence in the secretary of state and attorney general to make the right decisions.
Joint Statement from the Attorney General and Secretary of State:
Both the Secretary of State’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office are aware of public discourse regarding the potential applicability of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to the upcoming presidential election cycle, including misinformation asserting or implying that the Secretary of State’s Office has already taken a position on or is seeking to take certain action with respect to Donald Trump’s candidacy for the Republican National Convention’s nomination for president in the 2024 United States Presidential Election.
Neither the Secretary of State’s Office nor the Attorney General’s Office has taken any position regarding the potential applicability of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to the upcoming presidential election cycle.
The Secretary of State’s Office has requested the Attorney General’s Office to advise the Secretary of State regarding the meaning of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the provision’s potential applicability to the upcoming presidential election cycle.
The Attorney General’s Office is now carefully reviewing the legal issues involved.
The full text of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment can be found below:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Source: Attorney General ‘Carefully Reviewing’ Argument to Keep Trump Off the Ballot (The Western Journal)
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