PILF Files Brief Arguing Why President Trump Must Be Kept on the Ballot

Published On: January 17th, 2024

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was repealed by Congress and does not apply to President Trump.

(Alexandria, VA) – January 17, 2024: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed an amici curiae brief on the merits with the United States Supreme Court asking the Court to reverse Colorado’s unconstitutional action of removing President Trump from the ballot.

The brief asserts that the legal viability of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the basis of Colorado’s decision, is suspect in light of Congress’s repeal of the Amendment in 1872 and 1898. Section 3, passed just 3 years after the end of the American Civil War, prohibits those who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from occupying offices.

But even if Section 3 is in effect today, it does not apply to President Trump. The text of Section 3 states that it applies to individuals who served in Congress, state government, or officers of the United States. Courts have previously held that the term officers refers to people who were appointed not elected.

Further reason Section 3 does not apply to President Trump is there has been no finding of insurrection or rebellion committed by the former President. In fact, the Senate acquitted President Trump of insurrection charges.

Finally, the Constitution lays out specific qualifications for who is eligible to be President. States cannot add additional qualifications.

“Courts and radical bureaucrats removing candidates from the ballot is destabilizing to the country,” said J. Christian Adams, PILF President. “This is an attack on the basic American tradition of allowing the voters to decide who our elected leaders are. The Supreme Court will stop this unprecedented action of removing opposition political party candidates from the ballot.”

Read the full amici curiae on the merits in Donald Trump v. Norma Anderson here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections. PILF has brought lawsuits and won victories in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and across the United States.


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Public Interest Legal Foundation