The chief election official for New Hampshire announced on Wednesday that he will not use the U.S. Constitution to prevent former President Donald Trump from being on the ballot in the state, which will host the first Republican presidential primary the following year.
David Scanlan, the secretary of state, stated that under state law, the name of anyone who pays the $1,000 filing fee and affirms they meet the age, citizenship, and residency requirements “shall be printed on the ballots.”
Republican Scanlan stated during a press conference he convened to discuss various legal actions being taken to prevent Trump from running in 2024, “That language is not discretionary.”
Scanlan rejected assertions made in lawsuits brought forth in New Hampshire and elsewhere that Trump is ineligible to seek the presidency once more under a rarely applied provision of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
Those who “engaged in an insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution are prohibited from holding higher office, according to the Constitution.
Scanlan asserted that the phrase has nothing to do with seeking office, in contrast to other election officials who claimed they were seeking legal advice on how to interpret it. Scanlan remarked, “This is not the place to be attempting to force this matter into the courts.
Anyone who took an oath to support the Constitution and afterwards broke it is unable to occupy office, according to a Civil War-era provision.
The clause, which is tucked away at the end of the 14th Amendment and served as the cornerstone of civil rights lawsuits, does not specifically name the presidency but does refer to “presidential electors.”
Since Congress lifted the restriction on former Confederates under the measure in 1872, it has only been applied a few times.
But following the attack on the United States on January 6, 2021, the provision attracted new interest.
Trump backers who wanted to stop the certification of the 2020 election results petitioned the Capitol.
In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, the liberal organization Free Speech for People demanded that all 50 states prevent the former president from running for reelection in 2024.
As the Republican primary election approaches and more legal experts contend that the 14th Amendment may in fact prevent Trump from running again, such requests have gained more attention.
That claim has been made in a few scattered lawsuits, typically by relatively obscure political figures speaking for themselves, such as in Maine and New Hampshire.
A far-fetched Republican presidential candidate from Texas who resides in both states filed the complaint.
However, the first big round of legal action started last week when a well-known leftist organization filed a lawsuit to keep the former president off the Colorado ballot.
Only the U.S. will probably be able to address the problem. The Supreme Court has never made a decision regarding the clause.
The majority of secretaries of state have resisted the concept of contacting a presidential contender alone.
Democratic Minnesota Secretary of State Scott Simon stated last week that his office is unable to take such action on its own and that it can only do so if ordered to by the courts.
Days prior to the lawsuit brought by Free Speech for People to deem Trump ineligible, Simon stated, “The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State does not have legal authority to investigate a candidate’s eligibility for office.”
According to New Hampshire law, Scanlan has sole control over the primary timetable. Although he has not yet done so, he said on Wednesday that candidates may register between October 11 and October 27.