Some critics of former President Donald Trump have raised concerns about his eligibility to run for president in 2024 based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Interestingly, not all of these critics are aligned with the Democratic Party.
Retired Judge J. Michael Luttig, a well-known conservative figure, argues that Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results fall under Section 3’s prohibition of “insurrection or rebellion,” potentially disqualifying him from future presidential campaigns.
Another conservative legal luminary, Steven Calabresi, a co-founder of the right-wing Federalist Society, had initially supported a Section 3 argument against Trump. However, there has been a change of heart.
Calabresi, who teaches at Northwestern University in the Chicago area, recently stated, “Trump should not be allowed on the 2024 presidential ballot, and every secretary of state in the 50 states should exclude his name from the ballots.”
However, Calabresi has since reversed his stance, asserting in a letter to the Wall Street Journal on September 12, “Former President Donald Trump does not fall under the disqualification clause, making him eligible to appear on the 2024 presidential election ballot.”
Calabresi’s change of opinion was influenced by an argument presented by former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush.
In a recent article for the libertarian publication Reason, Calabresi explained, “While Trump may be a polarizing figure, due to a technicality in the wording of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment’s disqualification clause, it does not apply to him. Consequently, Trump’s name should feature on the 2024 presidential election ballots. Nonetheless, I strongly encourage my fellow Americans to consider alternatives when casting their votes, irrespective of Trump’s candidacy.”
This ongoing debate over the interpretation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment highlights the complexities surrounding Trump’s potential return to the presidential race in 2024, with legal scholars and conservative figures expressing divergent viewpoints.