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Should Trump be on the Ballot?

Should Trump be on the Ballot?


Everyone has heard of how supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Five people died and at least 174 people were injured. Trump was then impeached for his role in indicting the insurrection, but now he is running for president again. This is a terrifying thought. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land in the United States. As such it is considered the rules that every U.S. citizen must abide by. The 2024 election is coming up and the primary elections have already started. A looming question has been raised: Is it ethical and/or legal to have Donald Trump on the ballot?

The answer is no, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. 35 U.S. states currently have or have had pending lawsuits to get Donald Trump removed from the ballot. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits anyone from holding public office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States government. Donald Trump was indicted for his role in the January 6, 2021 insurrection to overturn the results of the 2020 election thus falling under this very section. Just that fact alone should be enough to keep him off the ballots. To me, it’s clear that section 3 of the 14th Amendment is a tool that was made to keep people who revolted against their government out of office and protect the integrity of the government. 

“As I read section 3 of the 24th amendment, as I see it, if a state wanted to kick him off the ballot it seems like states have the power to do that. If congress wanted to pass a law to reinstate him I think they have the power to do that according to section 5 of the 14th amendment,” said Government teacher Charles Clow. 

This is not a question of political loyalties, but instead an ethical dilemma that must be focused on. Allowing Donald Trump to be on the ballot is purely unethical. The provision in the 14th Amendment that could block Donald Trump from being on the ballot was created in 1868 after the Civil War. It has been completely overlooked until this moment. Even though this provision is not referenced very often, it is valid nonetheless. It is still a part of the 14th Amendment and it should be respected just like every other part of the constitution. 

Not only do I think it is wrong to disregard the Constitution, but Trump also weakens the entire political system. He is pushing the bounds of what has been done before and what is allowed as a leader. Letting him become president would destroy the integrity of the U.S. government. 

Significantly, Colorado and Maine state Supreme Courts voted to remove Donald Trump’s name from the ballot. The decision to remove him is undoubtedly the correct decision. 35 states have been in the process of trying to remove him from the ballot, but sadly many of them have been unable to. Trump’s lawyers have now filed a case appealing the first-of-a-kind decisions in Colorado and Maine. If these cases continue to get appealed, they may reach the Federal Supreme Court.   

In my opinion, Trump crossed the line of what is acceptable to do as our country’s leader. He was impeached by the House of Representatives twice but was acquitted by the Senate both times. I believe that any president who got impeached by any branch of the federal government shouldn’t be able to run for president again. Trump wasn’t removed from office but he was still found to have solicited foreign interference in the 2020 US election and incited an insurrection. Trump has also had many allegation of rape some of which he was found liable for. He has also been charged with over 80 felony counts. These are just another example of how Trump disregarded the law during his presidency. 

Overall, I believe that there is only one morally sound answer to this debate: Trump must and should be removed from the ballot. It would be completely unethical to let someone who condoned an insurrection become president, among many other counts of felonies. It is my hope that the Supreme Court Justices will recognize this issue and the gravity of their vote if they have to make a decision.

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About the Contributor
Aurora Ivanova, Opinion Editor
Aurora is in 10th grade at San Marcos High School. This is her second year in journalism. She is interested in math and literature. Outside of school, she likes playing softball, reading, hanging out with her friends, and listening to music. She is excited to be working for the Kings Page.
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