PROMO 64 - Politician - Donald Trump at the Pentagon 2017 - Public Domain

Statewide efforts grow to keep Trump off 2024 ballot 

Donald Trump at the Pentagon 2017 - Public Domain
Kathryn Carley

(Maine News Service) While Maine election officials determine if former President Donald Trump will appear on next year's presidential ballot, legal challenges nationwide rely on a Civil War-era provision of the U.S. Constitution for the answer.

Section Three of the 14th Amendment disqualifies anyone from serving in public office who "engaged in insurrection or rebellion against" the United States.

Amira Mattar, counsel for the group Free Speech for People, said the "Founding Fathers" decided insurrectionists cannot be trusted.

"In the same way that we in the Constitution forbid third-term presidents, so too does our Constitution forbid those who took an oath of office and later broke it," Mattar explained.

Mattar pointed out lawsuits challenging Trump's eligibility have been filed in ColoradoMichigan and Minnesota, with more to come. Trump denies any wrongdoing and continues to claim without evidence the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from him.

The House Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol concluded Trump played a leading role in provoking the violence that day. Prominent conservative legal scholars also say his inaction to help end it ultimately renders him ineligible for office. Mattar argued no matter what state election officials decide, voters have enough evidence to stop Trump in court.

"There are proper procedures in place for voters to be involved, and for them to be able to have a say in the candidates and their eligibility," Mattar noted.

Trump has several pending challenges against the state-based lawsuits. He also faces legal challenges of his own, including 91 felony counts in four legal cases.

This story was produced with original reporting from Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Magazine.