MSNBC opinion editor Hayes Brown, suggested over the weekend that it’s time for two of Trump’s 2024 primary opponents, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and former New Jersery Governor Chris Christie in particular, to sue Donald Trump.
Hayes cited Section 3 of the 14th Amendment for the reasoning, which states that no person who previously swore to support the Constitution but then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” can be allowed to hold any federal or state office. Hayes claims that this is grounds for Christie and Hutchinson, both of which refused to pledge to support the Republican nominee even if it is Donald Trump at the debate last week, to sue Donald Trump off of the ballot.
Hutchinson claimed during the debate that Trump is “morally disqualified from being president again” because of the role he played in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. “More people are understanding the importance of that, including conservative legal scholars, who say he may be disqualified under the 14th Amendment from being President, again, as a result of the insurrection,” Hutchinson said. “And so obviously, I’m not going to support somebody who’s been convicted of a serious felony, or who is disqualified under our Constitution.”
Steven Calabresi, a law professor at Northwestern and Yale and co-founder of The Federalist Society, suggested earlier this month that a candidate, specifically Christie, take the lead: “Chris Christie is legally injured by Donald Trump’s name being on the ballot,” Calabresi wrote this month in The Volokh Conspiracy, a libertarian-leaning legal blog. “They draw from some similar voters. Christie should sue, if necessary, to get Trump’s name off the ballot.” Hayes said that he would go even further and call for Christie to sue to include Hutchinson as well, especially since he seems to be well aware of the arguments in favor of Trump’s disqualification.
There is real question, however, if the 14th amendment applies to today, even if Trump was found guilty of “inciting an insurrection”.
Several states, including New Hampshire, are considering trying to remove Donald Trump for the 2024 ballot, but some legal experts are pushing back and saying that the 14th amendment can not be applied to today.
Earlier this month, american lawyer and former law professor known for his work in U.S. Constitutional law, as well as defending both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump during their impeachment hearings, Alan Dershowitz, is saying not so fast with removing Trump from the ballot.
In a recent interview with Steve Bannon, host on Real America’s Voice, Dershowitz said that the Consitution “simply doesn’t permit” Trump being removed from the ballot. Dershowitz said that if the Constitution did permit a Secretary of State to remove a candidate, that means that they could just start removing candidates that they don’t like, and that attempting to remove Trump from the ballot would cause a “constitutional crisis”.
It’s important to note that Dershowitz has made clear over the years that he isn’t a Trump supporter and has endorsed both Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020.
Dershowitz also said in his interview that the 14th amendment is only about the civil war and can not be applied to today without a proper procedure to remove a presidential candidate, which he says does not exist.