The Attorney General’s Office of New Hampshire is “carefully reviewing” the question of whether the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution could keep former President Donald Trump off the state’s ballots next year.
Originally intended to keep former Confederate officials out of the federal government after the Civil War, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment disqualifies from public office any individual who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the Constitution. The Amendment was ratified in 1868.
According to a joint statement from New Hampshire’s Attorney General John Formella and Secretary of State David Scanlan, no decision has been made regarding the question of Trump’s alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol incursion, and neither office is arguing that Trump’s actions on that day should or should not preclude him from being elected president again.
The joint statement said that the state AG’s office was “reviewing the legal issues involved” at the request of the secretary of state’s office.
Both Formella and Scanlan are members of the Republican Party.
Conservative legal scholars William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen argued in a paper scheduled for publication in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review that Trump should, in fact, be disqualified from holding the presidency again.
Scanlan denied that claim, telling NBC that he was “not seeking to remove any names from the presidential primary ballot, and I have not said that I am seeking to remove any names from the presidential primary ballot.”
He said that his request for “appropriate legal input” from the AG’s office was so that “when the time comes to make a decision on those challenges, to qualifications, that I can respond appropriately with the facts.”
New Hampshire GOP Chairman Chris Ager appeared on Kirk’s show Monday, the same day Kirk told listeners to call the state election administration office, and said that the whole matter was a non-issue.
“I’ve talked to the secretary of state,” Ager told Kirk. “I’ve talked to the attorney general. I am very confident that all of the 14 current candidates who apply will be on our ballot.”
In a separate statement, Ager said, “I have confidence in our secretary of state and attorney general to make the right decisions.”
The statement from the attorney general and secretary of state appears in its entirety here:
Both the Secretary of State’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office are aware of public discourse regarding the potential applicability of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to the upcoming presidential election cycle, including misinformation asserting or implying that the Secretary of State’s Office has already taken a position on or is seeking to take certain action with respect to Donald Trump’s candidacy for the Republican National Convention’s nomination for president in the 2024 United States Presidential Election.
Neither the Secretary of State’s Office nor the Attorney General’s Office has taken any position regarding the potential applicability of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to the upcoming presidential election cycle.
The Secretary of State’s Office has requested the Attorney General’s Office to advise the Secretary of State regarding the meaning of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the provision’s potential applicability to the upcoming presidential election cycle.
The Attorney General’s Office is now carefully reviewing the legal issues involved.
The full text of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment appears here:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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