Former President Donald Trump’s political opponents have come up with another plan to keep him from winning the 2024 election: Make sure he isn’t on the ballot at all.
Lawrence Caplan from Boynton Beach, a tax attorney from Florida, has initiated a federal legal action aimed at preventing former Trump from appearing on the ballot, citing a provision in the U.S. Constitution that disqualifies those who have ‘incited insurrection’ from holding public office.
The lawsuit is overseen by Judge Robin L. Rosenberg, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama.
The attorney asserts in his legal documents submitted to the Southern District of Florida that the 14th Amendment’s Section 3 bars individuals from occupying governmental positions if they have participated in an insurrection against the government or aided its adversaries.
Caplan labels this as the “disqualification clause,” explaining that it could be invoked without the need for a criminal trial.
He further highlights that special counsel Jack Smith has brought charges against Trump related to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and alleged efforts to subvert the 2020 election results.
The lawsuit also mentions that prosecutors in Georgia have leveled charges against the former president and his associates for tampering with elections, among other accusations.
According to Caplan, “President Trump’s efforts both in Washington, as well as in Georgia and perhaps other states, as well as the consequential assault on the U.S. Capitol, put Trump at the center of the disqualification clause, and as a result of which, make him ineligible to ever serve in federal office again.”
The debate among legal experts regarding Trump’s eligibility to run for office again has been contentious.
Laurence Tribe, a liberal legal commentator and professor emeritus at Harvard University, believes the 14th Amendment provides a clear obstacle for Trump’s potential re-election bid.
“You are disqualified, period,” Tribe stated on CNN, arguing that other accusations against Trump not involving insurrection are irrelevant.
However, the interpretation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is disputed among legal scholars.
Josh Blackman, a law professor at South Texas College of Law, opines that Caplan’s lawsuit could be considered premature, especially since it is not yet confirmed that Trump is planning to enter the Florida primary race.
Blackman anticipates that the case is likely to be dismissed.
A spokesperson for Trump dismissed the lawsuit as groundless.
“When it comes to filing frivolous lawsuits against President Trump, there’s no depth to which the Trump-deranged progressive left will sink,” the spokesperson said.
“But this might be a new low.
“This lawsuit has no basis in fact or law. We look forward to its prompt dismissal, to an award of legal sanctions against the plaintiff, and to receiving full payment from him of all of our legal fees responding to this meritless, bad faith case.”