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Lawfare 2.0 – 13 States Now Considering ‘Trump Ballot Ban’ for 2024

“Most governments are run by a small group of people for their own benefit without reference to what the majority wants.”
– Tucker Carlson

In the end, this latest witch hunt comes down to an arbitrary definition of ‘insurrection’…

Zero Hedge reports…

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 11, 2023) – Connecticut has just become the 13th state in which officials are considering banning former president Donald Trump from the ballot based upon the controversial Section 13 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

This most recent challenge to Trump’s candidacy comes in the form of a formal request filed by New Haven Alderman Maceo Troy Streater, and civil rights lawyer Alex Taubes, with Connecticut’s Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas, asking her to conduct a fact-finding hearing on the matter.

This parallels formal legal demands pursuant to Section 13 filed by Prof Banzhaf in Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania which also request a fact-finding hearing.

Those are all states in which some consideration of barring Trump from the ballot is reportedly already taking place.

For example, Thomas’ office had said: “The issue raises questions on both federal constitutionality and state election laws. . . Our attorneys are diligently reviewing Connecticut’s election laws, over which this office has jurisdiction, to ensure we have the proper interpretation.”

In contrast, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold called Trump a “liar”: “Trump is a liar with no respect for the Constitution . . . To say that a section of the 14th Amendment is election interference and considering how to uphold the Constitution is election interference is un-American . . . We know that the former president is a liar who will do everything he can to hold onto power.”

Unlike some who argue that Section 13 is “self executing” – i.e. that no further legal proceedings are required – Banzhaf notes that another section of the Fourteenth Amendment which says than no person can be deprived of any “liberty” or “property” type interest without due process of law means that there must first be an adjudicative (fact-finding) hearing before Trump could be removed from ballots.

At such a hearing, which could be performed by a court or by an agency such as the Office of the Secretary of State, Trump would be entitled to a number of procedural protections including the right to put on evidence and to cross examine witnesses against him. That’s what courts have said “due process” means, explains Banzhaf, who has taught the law of agencies for more than 40 years, and won many noteworthy legal victories at a variety of agencies.

Then and only then – if he has been found to “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after a fact-finding (adjudicative) hearing at which he is accorded due process – his name must be removed, says Banzhaf.

To refute those who argue that preventing candidates from appearing on ballots is un-American and/or undemocratic, a new report shows that such efforts are not uncommon, and have frequently been successful.

It detailed a number of situations where candidates were disqualified in states across the country, including one in Connecticut. The report shows that “All 50 states and the District of Columbia have excluded candidates who do not meet requirements to appear on the ballot, and excluding Trump and other disqualified insurrectionists can be done through the same mechanisms.”

In addition to prompting serious consideration of this issue in states where it is already being discussed, Banzhaf’s and other formal legal requests which have just been filed with the secretaries of state of other states may help avoid (provide an alternative workaround to) the frequent failure of similar efforts to disqualify Trump, former president Barack Obama, and others – a lack of legal standing – explains Banzhaf.

He should know since he was held by a federal judge to have legal standing to sue to require the appointment of an independent counsel when his own formal legal demand seeking such an appointment for “Debategate” was denied. He also played a major role in obtaining special prosecutors for Richard Nixon, helped defeat Hunter Biden’s so-called “sweetheart” plea deal, and filed the formal legal complaint which led to the indictment of Trump and many of his alleged co-conspirators in Georgia.

Real-World Consequences Of The January 6th Events

Professor Banzhaf notes that Section 3 and its application to the events of January 6th have already had some real-world consequences: in New Mexico a county commissioner lost his office; a member of Congress was found to be covered by the section; and another member of Congress escaped removal only because he was found not to have engaged in insurrection.

Section 3 of ARTICLE XIV bars former civilian officials from holding office if they shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States government. But although there is considerable evidence, as well as expert opinion, that Trump has in fact “engaged in insurrection,” there is no official finding to that effect.

So, since ARTICLE XIV also mandates that nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” and because under virtually any reasonable interpretation of this constitutional provision, not permitting Trump to run for office and/or to acquire Electoral College votes in a state would be to deprive him of a liberty and/or property interest, no state could keep him off the ballot unless he has been found to have “engaged in insurrection” in an evidentiary (adjudicative) hearing at which he was accorded due process.

In this regard it should be noted that the adjudicative hearing need not be a criminal trial, and proof that Trump engaged in insurrection need not necessary meet the criminal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt…

Continue this story at Zero Hedge







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