It’s not just New Hampshire anymore. Two other states have joined an effort to bar Trump from their respective 2024 ballot over the January 6 event. Last month, it was reported that New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan, a Republican, was seeking legal counsel concerning disqualifying the former president ahead of their crucial primary. He’s consulting with the state’s attorney general’s office on next steps. This legal attempt to bar Trump from ballots stems from an interpretation of Section III of the 14th Amendment:
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.
Now, Michigan and Arizona have joined this chorus, with the Mitten State standing out from the other two, as Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is being sued to keep Trump off the ballot (via ABC News):
Several advocacy groups have said that Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021, fit that criteria — that he directly engaged in an insurrection. The legal theory has been pursued, unsuccessfully, against a few other elected Republicans; arguing their actions around Jan. 6 and support for overturning the 2020 election results amounted to the disqualifying behavior.
Robert Davis — widely known in Michigan as a citizen activist who serially sues state politicians — on Monday filed a lawsuit that urges Secretary of State Benson to declare Trump is ineligible to run for office.
Davis asked Benson to make a decision on Trump’s candidacy within 14 days.
Asked by ABC News her thoughts on Davis’ lawsuit, Benson said her focus is on upholding the law and acknowledged her state’s position as a battleground will influence public narrative nation wide surrounding the issue.
In Arizona, Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, a Democrat, said that he was planning for the possibility of challenges to Trump’s ballot eligibility but does not himself have the authority to explicitly bar Trump from appearing on the ballot.
Last year, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that there would be no way for his office to enforce the disqualification clause, only Congress would have the right to do so — a ruling Fontes called “dead wrong.”
“If that was the case, then no constitutional qualifier applies. So, a 23-year-old born in Poland, for example, who never became a citizen, could run for president in Arizona,” Fontes told ABC News.
Fontes said he doesn’t know of any specific individual or groups who have organized to file a lawsuit challenging Trump’s eligibility, but his office has gotten phone calls and notes objecting to the former president potentially appearing on the ballot.
For now, he’s “deciding on how to decide” how to proceed with who exactly appears on the 2024 ballot and gathering clarification from legal counsel.
Jonathan Turley has strongly disagreed with this interpretation of the 14th Amendment, noting that there is insufficient evidence that Trump committed such a crime. It’s why he isn’t facing such charges from Special Counsel Jack Smith, but as you know, facts won’t stop anti-Trump forces from trying to derail his candidacy.