Hearings have recently commenced to decide whether the 14th Amendment could disqualify Donald Trump from running for President in 2024 due to his alleged involvement in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. In Denver, a five-day evidentiary hearing began for a lawsuit filed against Trump by six Colorado voters represented by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is accusing Trump of inciting and aiding the mob at the Capitol two years ago, a claim he vehemently denies.
Trump’s spokesperson dismissed the use of the 14th Amendment clause against him as an “absurd conspiracy theory.” According to the spokesperson, those pursuing this legal action are “stretching the law beyond recognition.”
In the Denver hearing, CREW presented two police officers who were present at the Capitol during the attack and California Representative Eric Swalwell, who was inside during the event.
The group also plans to call two professors.
A Terrorist Attack on The United States
One of the officers, Danny Hodges, said, “The events on Jan. 6, 2021, in the United States Capitol were horrific.
It was a terrorist attack on the United States of America, an assault on democracy, and an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.”
Trump’s attorney, Scott Gessler, a former Colorado secretary of state, countered the lawsuit against former President Trump by deeming it “anti-democratic.”
Gessler claimed the case “looks to extinguish the opportunity… for millions of Coloradans, Colorado Republicans, and unaffiliated voters, to be able to choose and vote for the presidential candidate they want.”
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment
The lawsuits are rooted in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which states that individuals are ineligible for future office if, while in office, they engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the Constitution or provided aid to its enemies.
Within the Scope of the 14th Amendment
Trump’s opponents argue that his actions after the 2020 election, particularly on January 6, 2021, fall within the scope of this section.
A poll conducted in late September revealed that 44% of adults believed Trump should be barred from serving as president under the 14th Amendment, while 50% disagreed.
This legal battle in Colorado is the first major test of the 14th Amendment’s applicability to a presidential candidate. It has garnered attention due to its potential to influence the 2024 presidential election.
Upcoming Legal Proceedings
The parties involved will reconvene on November 15 for closing arguments, with the judge expected to issue a ruling within 48 hours. Although Trump will not testify, his lawyers have been fundraising in light of the hearings.
In addition to the Colorado proceedings, the Minnesota Supreme Court will conduct a similar challenge brought by Free Speech For People (FSFP) to determine whether Trump can appear on the Minnesota primary ballot.
Breaking an Oath
This case centers around claims that Trump violated his oath to the Constitution when becoming President, as Section 3 of the 14th Amendment stipulated.
Supreme Court Possibility
Legal experts predict that if any jurisdiction agrees with the Section 3 argument, the U.S. Supreme Court may ultimately have to decide whether Trump can be on the ballot in 2024.
Everywhere or Nowhere
the highest court in America may hold the key to resolving this contentious issue. In the words of Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, “Donald Trump will either be on the ballot everywhere or nowhere.”
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