Republicans want SCOTUS to decide all 14th Amendment ballot challenges
A group of Republican Senators introduced a bill that would make the United States Supreme Court the sole decision maker as to whether a candidate can be disqualified from an election ballot under section 3 of the 14th amendment.
Colorado’s Supreme Court and Maine’s Secretary of State determined that Donald Trump incited an insurrection with his actions leading up to the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol. In response to a legal challenge, they removed Trump from their state’s presidential ballot. The California Secretary of State kept him on. According to the New York Times, there are about a dozen other challenges to Trump’s candidacy pending around the country.
The 14th amendment states, “No person shall … hold any office, civil or military … who, having previously taken an oath…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.”
The GOP senators introduced the Constitutional Election Integrity Act which says the Supreme Court, not state entities, has the sole jurisdiction over 14th amendment claims.
If passed, the bill would also withhold federal funding for election administration from states that prohibit an otherwise eligible presidential candidate from appearing on the ballot on 14th amendment grounds.
“Regardless of whether you support or oppose former President Donald Trump, it is outrageous to see left-wing activists make a mockery of our political system by scheming with partisan state officials and pressuring judges to remove him from the ballot,” Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. said in a statement. “American voters, not partisan activists, should decide who we elect as our President.”
Tillis introduced the bill along with Sens. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, Rick Scott, R-Fla., Ted Budd, R-N.C., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla.
“Presidential elections are determined by the American people, not liberal political activists with a grudge,” Mullin said in a statement.
The bill was introduced in the Senate which is controlled by Democrats. After the riot in 2021, there were multiple members of the Democratic caucus who wanted to pass a resolution barring Trump from any future ballots on 14th amendment grounds. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., didn’t rule that out. So Republicans have a tough hill to climb to get this bill passed.