PILF To SCOTUS: President Trump Must Be Kept on the Ballot

Published On: January 05th, 2024

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not apply in these circumstances.

(Alexandria, VA) – January 5, 2024: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed an amici curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court asking the Court to reverse Colorado’s unconstitutional action of removing President Trump from the ballot.

The brief argues that the provisions of the 14th Amendment that are being used to disqualify Donald Trump from the ballot are no longer in effect. They were repealed by Congress in the late 19th Century.

The brief asserts that the legal viability of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the basis of Colorado’s decision, was repealed by Congress in 1872 and 1898.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. The brief argues that those provisions are no longer in force whatsoever.

Congress in 1872 and 1898 extended an amnesty by repealing the provisions against office holding arising from the Civil War. The 14th Amendment gave Congress the power to terminate the prohibition against those who engaged in “insurrection.” Congress terminated the effectiveness of the provisions, twice.  Therefore, they cannot be used in 2024 to ban candidates from the ballot.

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 according to the Supreme Court’s decision in the challenge to Congressional term limits.

“People should decide who the President is, not state judges and militantly partisan state election officials,” said J. Christian Adams, PILF President“Third-world countries use Soviet-style tactics to limit choices at the ballot box. America lets voters decide.” 

Read the full amici curiae in Colorado Republican State Central Committee v. Norma Anderson here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated exclusively to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others in aiding 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