Under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause, Trump’s incitement of the January 6th insurrection bars him from holding public office.

SALEM, OR (November 21, 2023) – Free Speech For People (FSFP), along with Oregon co-counsel Jason Kafoury of Kafoury & McDougal and Daniel Meek, issued a letter today to the Secretary of State of Oregon, LaVonne Griffin Valade, urging her to issue a temporary rule (and subsequent declaratory ruling) that Mr. Trump, according to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, is constitutionally ineligible to appear on any Oregon future ballot for nomination of election to federal office.  Due to the urgency of the issue, the letter requests a response by December 1, 2023.   

The letter states:

With the urgency of an approaching primary election, we urge you to address this critical issue now. Mr. Trump’s conduct encouraging the “Big Lie” of a stolen election, encouraging and inciting an insurrection, and facilitating that insurrection by refusing to intervene to stop it despite urgent requests that he do so and by supervising subordinates who actively blocked the National Guard from assisting the besieged Capitol Police, renders him ineligible for any federal office, including that of president.

Enacted in the wake of the Civil War, Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment disqualifies from public office, regardless of a prior criminal conviction, any individual who has taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and then engages in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or gives aid or comfort to its enemies. Trump’s involvement in the violent attack on Congress to prevent the certification of democratic election results disqualifies him from holding any future public office.

On behalf of voters, Free Speech For People has filed legal challenges to Trump’s eligibility to appear on the ballot in Minnesota and Michigan.  The Michigan challenge is currently pending on appeal. 

Free Speech For People filed similar challenges in 2022 against Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and former North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn for their role in the January 6th insurrection. Although those challenges did not result in disqualification (Cawthorn’s because he lost his primary while the challenge was pending; Greene’s because the judge found insufficient factual evidence that she, personally, had engaged in the insurrection), they set important legal precedent that lays the groundwork for this challenge, including: that states have legal authority to adjudicate Section 3 challenges; that state processes for adjudicating Section 3 challenges do not violate a candidate’s constitutional rights; that no prior criminal conviction is required under Section 3 challenge; that words (including “marching orders or instructions to capture a particular objective, or to disrupt or obstruct a particular government proceeding”) can constitute engaging in insurrection; and that an 1872 congressional amnesty for ex-Confederates does not apply to January 6.

On September 6, 2022, Judge Francis J. Matthew of New Mexico’s First District permanently enjoined Otero County Commissioner and “Cowboys for Trump” founder Couy Griffin from holding office under the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause.

Free Speech For People, a national nonpartisan legal advocacy group, has spearheaded the nationwide effort to “hold insurrectionists accountable for their role in the violent assault on American democracy” that took place on January 6th, 2021. Along with Mi Familia Vota, the group launched TrumpIsDisqualified.org, a campaign calling on Secretaries of State and top election officials across the country to follow the mandate of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment and permanently bar Donald Trump–and all other elected officials who participated in the January 6th insurrection–from any future ballot. They have sent letters to secretaries of state and chief election officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

Read the letter here.


Free Speech For People is a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization working to defend our democracy, uphold the Constitution, and guarantee every person has an equal voice and an equal vote. Founded on the day of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in January 2010, Free Speech For People, through its legal work and advocacy, fights to protect voting rights and election security, challenge big money dominance in elections, confront government corruption, and ensure people can participate equally and meaningfully in our democracy. To learn more, please visit www.freespeechforpeople.org.