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

CARSON CITY, NV (June 28, 2023) – Free Speech For People (FSFP) and Mi Familia Vota Education Fund (MFVEF) released a letter today which they recently delivered to Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar urging him to bar former President Donald Trump from the ballot. The nonprofit organizations argue that by swearing an oath to uphold the Constitution and subsequently inciting and facilitating the violent January 6th attack on the Capitol, Trump is constitutionally ineligible to run for office again under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, also known as the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause.

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.

“[S]ince 1868, the qualifications for eligibility for the presidency—in addition to natural-born citizenship, age, and residency—have also included not having engaged in insurrection against the United States after having taken an oath to support the Constitution,” the letter reads. “And Trump does not meet that qualification.”

FSFP and MFVEF also argue that state election officials, including Secretary Aguilar, have the power to enforce the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause without express permission from Congress. They note that nothing in the text, original public meaning, or the Reconstruction-era history of Section 3’s implementation suggests that states need authorization from Congress to implement this part of the Constitution. During Reconstruction, states repeatedly enforced Section 3 in exactly that circumstance, and two different states (Georgia and New Mexico) heard Section 3 challenges against those involved in the January 6th insurrection in 2022. These challenges did not need any special federal legislation, relying on standard state legal procedures for challenging a politician’s constitutional eligibility for office.

Under Nevada law, only Secretary Aguilar has the power to determine whether Trump is a qualified candidate under the Constitution to appear on the state’s ballot.

“The evidence is overwhelming that Donald Trump incited and mobilized the insurrection on January 6, 2021 at our nation’s Capitol,” said Alexandra Flores-Quilty, Campaign Director for Free Speech For People. “The US Constitution is clear that anyone who takes an oath of office and then engages in insurrection is forever barred from holding public office again. Secretary Aguilar must carry out his duty, follow this constitutional mandate, and bar Trump from the ballot.”

Irving Zavaleta, Mi Familia Vota National Programs Manager said:  “Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar is well within his authority to bar former President Donald Trump from the ballot. We all know that Donald Trump incited an insurrection to stop the certification of the 2020 election. Under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, anyone who has taken the oath of office to defend the Constitution and then engages in an insurrection is disqualified from holding future public office. Trump is disqualified, and we strongly urge Secretary Aguilar to bar him from the ballot.” 

Free Speech For People has called for applying the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause to Donald Trump since January 2021. The organization, in partnership with Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, launched the Trump is Disqualified campaign following Trump’s announcement of his 2024 presidential bid in November 2022. Click here for more information on the campaign.

Read the letter here.