Arizona joined New Hampshire in ruling out the possibility of removing former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot under provisions of the 14th Amendment. The decision by Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) appeared to weaken the momentum of activists who proposed using the Jan. 6, 2021 protests as a pretext to block Trump’s ballot access.
Fontes weighed in on the argument that Trump was ineligible for the ballot under a provision of the amendment that disallows those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding public office.
The secretary of state cited a decision by Arizona’s Supreme Court last year which found that only Congress could enforce such a ruling.
Fontes indicated that he did not agree with the court ruling but that he must follow it due to his position. He also said that “any law can be overturned in a judicial action.”
The court case stemmed from efforts to prevent Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) from the ballot due to their support of the Capitol protests.
The news from Arizona followed a similar determination by New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan (R) this week.
The secretary of state was contacted by a former U.S. Senate candidate regarding the possibility of removing Trump’s name from voters’ consideration.
Scanlan said Monday that he was “not seeking to remove any names from the presidential primary ballot, and I have not said that I am seeking to remove any names from the presidential primary ballot.”
The Granite State will host one of the crucial early nominating contests next year.
The decisions in New Hampshire and Arizona may not be the end of the current debate.
Important thing to remember about this 14th Amendment disqualify-Trump scheme. You might think it is wrongheaded, or worse, but Trump's foes are going to try it. It's going to get to the Supreme Court, perhaps before any of Trump's trials. https://t.co/qubpUDsrMa
— Byron York (@ByronYork) August 29, 2023
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said that Trump is eligible for the ballot nationwide.
The Utah Republican said that the effort was a “novel legal theory that rests on a tortured reading of the Constitution.”
He said that if the concept was enacted, it would “dangerously undermine the First Amendment and — if true — disqualify a veritable flotilla of Democratic politicians from ever holding office again.”