Lawsuit argues that Trump is constitutionally ineligible to run for office

 October 31, 2023

Polling data suggests that former President Donald Trump holds a massive lead in the Republican primary race while other surveys show him leading President Joe Biden ahead of next year's general election.

Yet rather than seek to defeat Trump at the ballot box, some of the former president's opponents are asking a court to block him from running. 

Group points to 14th Amendment

According to The Independent, the lawsuit was launched by a group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

Noah Bookbinder serves as the group's president, and he issued a statement explaining the rationale behind challenging Trump's candidacy.

"We aren’t bringing this case to make a point, we’re bringing it because it is necessary to defend our republic both today and in the future," Bookbinder was quoted as saying.

At issue is Section 3 of the Constitution's 14th Amendment, which was ratified shortly after the Civil War came to close.

CREW president says January 6 was "unprecedented"

Known as the disqualification clause, it states that

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.

The CREW lawsuit asserts that Trump's actions following the 2020 election amounted to "insurrection or rebellion" and thus render him ineligible to serve again as president.

"While it is unprecedented to bring this type of case against a former president, January 6 was an unprecedented attack that is exactly the kind of event the framers of the 14th Amendment wanted to build protections in case of," Bookbinder asserted, adding, "You don’t break the glass unless there’s an emergency."

Similar lawsuit filed in Minnesota

The Independent noted that while Trump's attorneys have sought to have the case dismissed, the first hearing began on Monday.

Meanwhile, Fox News reported that the former president faces a similar removal effort in Minnesota where its state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Thursday.

Trump's lawyers are expected to argue that his words following the 2020 election are protected by the First Amendment and that the disqualification clause does not mention the office of president by name.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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