Does the Constitution ban Trump from running again?

Trump could face criminal charges for inciting an insurrection, but that’s not necessary to bar him from the ballot.


Donald Trump should not be allowed on the ballot.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits anyone who has held public office and taken an oath to protect the Constitution from holding office again if they “have engaged in insurrection” against the United States.

This key provision was enacted after the Civil War to prevent those who rose up against our democracy from ever being allowed to hold office again.

This applies to Donald Trump. He cannot again be entrusted with public office. He led an insurrection!

He refused to concede the results of the 2020 election, claiming it was stolen, even when many in his inner circle, including his own attorney general, told him it was not.

Trump then pushed state officials to change vote counts, hatched a plot to name fake electors, tried to pressure his vice president into refusing to certify the Electoral College votes, had his allies seek access to voting-machine data, and summoned his supporters to attack the capitol on January 6th to disrupt the formal recognition of the presidential election results.

And then he waited HOURS, reportedly watching the violence on TV, before telling his supporters to go home — despite pleas from his staff, Republican lawmakers, and even Fox News.

If this isn’t the behavior of an insurrectionist, I don’t know what is.

Can there be any doubt that Trump will again try to do whatever it takes to regain power, even if it’s illegal and unconstitutional?

If anything, given all the MAGA election deniers in Congress and in the states, Trump is less constrained than he was in 2020. And more power hungry.

Trump could face criminal charges for inciting an insurrection, but that’s not necessary to bar him from the ballot.

Secretaries of State and other chief election officers across the country have the power to determine whether candidates meet the qualifications for office. They have a constitutional duty to keep Trump off the ballot — based on the clear text of the U.S. Constitution.

Some might argue that voters should be able to decide whether candidates are fit for office, even if they’re dangerous. But the Constitution sets the bar for what disqualifies someone from being president. Candidates must be at least 35 years old and a natural-born U.S. citizen. And they must also not have engaged in insurrection after they previously took an oath of office to defend the Constitution.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment has already been used to disqualify an insurrectionist from continuing to hold public office in New Mexico, with the state’s Supreme Court upholding the ruling.

This is not about partisanship. If a Democrat attempts to overthrow the government, they should not be allowed on ballots either.

Election officials must keep Donald Trump off the ballot in 2024. 

Democracy cannot survive if insurrectionists hold power in our government.

Read it on Robert Reich’s blog.


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Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fourteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "Saving Capitalism." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, co-founder of the nonprofit Inequality Media and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, Inequality for All.