Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Donald Trump's Provisional Candidacy

Gerard N. Magliocca

Tonight Donald Trump is expected to announce his third bid for the White House. Whatever you think of his prospects, there is a more basic question: Is Trump even eligible to serve again as President? Or does Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment bar him from office because of his role in January 6th? 

When people want to vote when there are legal doubts about their eligibility, they cast a provisional ballot.   When people want to run for office when there are legal doubts about their eligibility, the best description is that they are provisional candidates. The Supreme Court must decide as soon as possible if Donald Trump's provisional candidacy is a real one. It would be unfortunate if people gave money, volunteered for, or voted for a presidential candidate who was then deemed ineligible under the Constitution.

Obtaining a prompt ruling on Trump's eligibility will be difficult. The practice of presidential campaigns far outpaces the formalities. Candidates declare well before the primaries and caucuses are held. There will not be a filing deadline for months that could be the basis of a cause of action. But there may be some creative ways to get the issue before the Court sooner. More on that soon.    


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