A New Jersey resident from Mahwah has filed a lawsuit to block Donald Trump from appearing on the election ballot in New Jersey, assuming he wins the Republican presidential nomination.
The lawsuit argues that Trump is disqualified from running for elected office under the 14th Amendment, which prohibits anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” to hold office. According to the lawsuit, Trump did just that when he incited his supporters to attack the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to block Joe Biden from becoming president.
Similar lawsuits have been filed in California, Colorado, and Minnesota.
It’s not clear from a legal standpoint whether this Constitutional clause is at all relevant to Trump. The 3rd Clause of the 14th Amendment was added to the Constitution following the Civil War, and it has never been used since then. How a 160-year-old Constitutional clause that was geared for a specific time in history would be enforced today isn’t known.
A number of state officials have already said that they cannot bar Trump from being on the ballot based on that clause. Most notable among those officials is Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who Trump infamously called following the 2020 election to request he “find” votes to make him win the state.