New Hampshire’s top elections official, a Republican, seeks to use the Constitution’s 14th Amendment to banish former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot.
Breitbart News reported on Friday that Secretary of State David Scanlan, who will oversee the nation’s first presidential primary early next year, is apparently buying left-wing arguments that the 14th Amendment precludes Trump from serving again.
As the Tampa Free Press has reported, the claim by liberals is suspect because the 14th Amendment was aimed at former Confederates after the Civil War.
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The law bans from public office anyone who “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” Yet in 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law a bill that removed all the disqualification provisions applied to most former Confederates. Grant also directed federal prosecutors to drop charges against former Confederates and pardoned almost all former rebels.
Breitbart reported that Scanlan “has caught wind of scholars’ recent arguments that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Disqualification Clause prohibits Trump from being on the presidential ballot.”
Fueling the wind that Scanlan caught was a New Hampshire lawyer, Bryant “Corky” Messner, whom Trump had endorsed in the state’s 2020 U.S. Senate race.
“I really don’t view myself as turning on Trump, as odd as that sounds,” Messner told ABC News, according to Breitbart. “I love this country. I’ve served this country. I’ve taken an oath to this country. My sons are serving right now and I believe someone’s got to step up to defend the Constitution.”
“Someone needs to take some action legally so this thing can get in front of the Supreme Court sooner rather than later to interpret this section,” he added.
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As for those “scholars” who are suggesting Trump should, and can, be banned from the ballot, they include: former Clinton administration labor secretary Robert Reich; legal scholars William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, both of whom are Never Trumpers; former federal judge J. Michael Luttig; and Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, a longtime Trump hater who called for Trump to be impeached on his first day in office.
Breitbart noted that Scanlan is meeting with the state’s attorney general to determine if the 14th Amendment is applicable. Scanlan has called the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol a “really unfortunate event,” but also has said that he is not “really qualified to say whether that was an ‘insurrection’ or not.”
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