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Trump Attorneys Asking to Move 14th Amendment Lawsuit to Federal Court

— September 9, 2023

Trump’s legal team appears to have since done an about-face, refusing to contest a petition that would keep the lawsuit in state court.

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump have asked that a lawsuit seeking to purge him from the 2024 ballot be moved from a Colorado state court to a federal court.

According to NBC News, on Thursday, Trump’s lawyers argued that the lawsuit—filed on behalf of six Colorado voters—be moved to federal court because the complaint concerns an alleged breach of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

A provision of this amendment, notes NBC News, states that no person shall hold political office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after having taken an oath to support the Constitution and its principles.

“This case arises under the 14th Amendment. Although Plaintiffs have drafted their Verified Petition in a manner that ostensibly relies on state claims, in fact every state claim—indeed every effort to bar Trump from running for President—relies solely on the application of the U.S. Const. 14th Amend, Section 3,” Trump attorneys wrote in their petition.

Somewhat unusually, though, Trump’s counsel switched track the next day, deciding not to protest a move to keep the case in Colorado.

“Both the constitutional lack of standing and failure to comply with statutory removal requirements compel remand here,” petitioners wrote. “Because the grounds for remand are clear and dictated by binding precedent, and because no party opposes this motion to remand, Petitioners respectfully request that the Court resolve this motion without a hearing and without awaiting an opposition.”

A 2014 image of Donald Trump. Image from Flickr via Wikimedia Commons/user:Gage Skidmore. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Trump, who had largely ignored multi-state campaigns to keep him off the 2024 ballot, appears to have become increasingly nervous in recent weeks.

Speaking in an interview with conservative radio host Dan Bongino, Trump said that lawsuits filed in Colorado, New Hampshire, Arizona, and Michigan are “nonsense” constituting a form of “election interference.”

“This is like a banana republic,” Trump told Bongino. “And what they’re doing is, it’s called election interference.”

“Now, the 14th Amendment is just a continuation of that,” he said.

Trump also took to his social media platform, Truth Social, to continue decrying what he has termed “the greatest political witch hunt” of all time.

“Almost all legal scholars have voiced opinions that the 14th Amendment has no legal basis or standing relative to the upcoming 2024 President Election,” Trump wrote, characteristically not offering any source for his claims. “Like Election Interference, this is just another ‘trick’ being used by the Radical Left Communists, Marxist, and Fascists.”

NBC News notes that some legal analysts—including conservative analysts—have, in fact, raised concerns that continued legal challenges could hinder Trump’s hopes for re-election.

The Colorado lawsuit, for instance, purports that “Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and interfere with the peaceful transfer of power were part of an insurrection against the Constitution of the United States.”

“Four years after taking an oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the Constitution as President of the United States,” the lawsuit says, “Trump tried to overthrow the results of the 2020 election, leading to a violent insurrection at the United States Capitol to stop the lawful transfer of power to his successor. By instigating this unprecedented assault on the American constitutional order, Trump violated his oath and disqualified himself under the Fourteenth Amendment from holding public office, including the Office of the President.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the left-leaning advocacy organization that filed the lawsuit along several private law firms, also suggested that its 14th Amendment assertions may seem somewhat outlandish only because they have seen limited use since the days of Reconstruction.

“While it is unprecedented to bring this type of case against a former president, January 6th was an unprecedented attack that is exactly the kind of event the framers of the 14th Amendment wanted to build protections in case of,” CREW said in a statement. “You don’t break the glass unless there’s an emergency.”


Trump asked to move lawsuit seeking to boot him from 2024 ballot in Colorado to federal court

Trump lawyers move ‘insurrection’ clause lawsuit aiming to bar him from the ballot to federal court

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