Lawsuit challenges Trump’s eligibility for Oregon ballot citing 14th Amendment insurrection clause

Non-profit Free Speech for People files legal challenge, arguing Trump violated the 14th amendment and should be barred from the Oregon ballot


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A groundbreaking legal showdown is happening as Oregon finds itself at the center of a heated debate over former President Donald Trump’s eligibility for the state’s ballot. A lawsuit, filed by Free Speech for People on behalf of Oregon voters, invokes the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause as the basis for preventing Trump’s appearance on the ballot. This article delves into the legal challenge, highlighting key arguments, and explores the response from Oregon’s Secretary of State.

Free Speech for People, together with Oregon co-counsel Jason Kafoury and Daniel Meek, has initiated a lawsuit in the Oregon Supreme Court. Representing five individual Oregon voters, their core contention revolves around Donald Trump’s alleged violation of the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause. This constitutional provision explicitly disqualifies individuals who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion from holding public office.

Free Speech for People argues that Donald Trump’s actions during and following his tenure as President indisputably breach the insurrection clause. The organization emphasizes Trump’s role in inciting a violent insurrection targeting the U.S. Capitol, an event that placed the lives of Vice President and congressional leaders in grave danger. This alleged violation aligns with the intended purpose of the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause – to safeguard the nation from those who betray their oaths by engaging in insurrection.

Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade, in response to Free Speech for People’s request to exclude Trump from the ballot, has cited legal counsel from the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) as the foundation of her decision. She underscores that Oregon law does not grant her the authority to make determinations regarding candidate qualifications in a presidential primary. Consequently, she plans to include Trump on the primary ballot unless explicitly instructed otherwise by the court.

The Oregon lawsuit is part of a broader nationwide initiative led by Free Speech for People to hold those connected to the January 6th insurrection accountable. Similar legal actions have been initiated in Minnesota and Michigan, with the latter currently awaiting appeal. The organization has dispatched letters to secretaries of state and chief election officials across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, striving to address the insurrectionist disqualification issue.

The lawsuit challenging Donald Trump’s eligibility for the Oregon ballot reveals a contentious legal battle with significant ramifications. It underscores the continued scrutiny and legal actions faced by individuals associated with the January 6th Capitol insurrection. At its core, this lawsuit raises crucial questions about the boundaries of constitutional eligibility for public office and the imperative of safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process, while preserving the principles enshrined in the Constitution.

In the words of Free Speech for People’s legal director Ron Fein: “Donald Trump violated his oath of office and incited a violent insurrection… Trump is legally barred from the ballot, and election officials must follow this constitutional mandate.”

Attorney Jason Kafoury adds: “The United States Constitution makes Donald Trump ineligible to run for or serve in any public office in the country, let alone President.”

These voices reflect the urgency and significance of the legal battle unfolding in Oregon, as it grapples with the intersection of constitutional law and the aftermath of the January 6th events.


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