Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) said his office is taking potential attempts to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the presidential ballot “very seriously.”
There has been growing concern in the legal community over whether or not the Fourteenth Amendment would disqualify Trump from appearing on any ballots in 2024. Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment says public officials are not eligible to hold office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States.
Legal scholars from both the left and right have floated the idea that this clause would apply to Trump due to the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
As Breitbart News reported:
[Former Clinton administration labor secretary Robert] Reich was recently joined by legal scholars William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, both Never Trump members of the otherwise conservative Federalist Society, who wrote in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review that Section 3 “disqualifies former President Donald Trump, and potentially many others, because of their participation in the attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election.”
This weekend, legal scholars J. Michael Luttig and Laurence H. Tribe joined the chorus, in TheAtlantic. They cited the fact that Trump has been indicted at both the state and federal levels for various crimes, including a federal indictment in Washington, D.C., and a state indictment for Fulton County, Georgia, for his efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.
On Tuesday, Fontes said his office is taking these concerns “very seriously.”
“We have to have a final certification of eligible candidates [for the primary ballot] by Dec. 14 for Arizona’s presidential preference election,” he told NBC News. “And because this will ultimately end up in court, we are taking this very seriously.”
Although Fontes said his office is “not taking a position,” he called on proponents of the idea to “start swinging.”
“We need to run an election. We need to know who is eligible, and this is of incredible national interest. We aren’t taking a position one way or the other,” Fontes explained. “If there are people who want to fight this out, they need to start swinging, because I have an election to run.”
Fontes’ announcement comes as New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan (R), who previously said he would confer with his state attorney general about the matter, announced he is “not seeking to remove any names from the presidential primary ballot.”