Democrats’ “Scheme to Keep Trump Off Ballot” Foiled in NH; Challenges in Some Seventeen States; But a Hearing is Required
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 25, 2023) – The headline reveals: “Democrats Scheming to Keep Trump Off Ballot Where He Could Beat Biden,” and it was originally published as “Documents Reveal New Hampshire Review of Trump’s Ballot Access Came After Outside Legal Analysis.”
New Hampshire Secretary of State Decides Against Banning Trump From The Ballot
The article explained that “The top election official in New Hampshire, which traditionally holds the nation’s first presidential primary, announced that he would consider banning former President Donald Trump from the ballot one day after a George Washington University law professor suggested that he call a special panel to make the determination.”
“New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan, a Republican, decided against blocking Trump’s ballot access even as many Democrats and liberal groups insisted that a clause in the 14th Amendment disqualifies Trump from being president and pressured election officials like him across the country to act.”
Based upon examination of hundreds of previously secret emails and other documents, the report elaborated: “With no conviction on a charge of insurrection, Trump has a right to due process before a state could remove him from the ballot, argued John Banzhaf, a public interest law professor at George Washington University. Banzhaf sent a memo to Scanlan on Aug. 28, with a copy to New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella, also a Republican. The two GOP officials announced the next day they were reviewing the matter.”
As the law professor explained in his filing with Scanlan, “With all due respect to my learned colleagues on both sides of the debate (NO, he can’t be listed vs. YES, he can be listed), I believe that neither suggested interpretation is correct, and that the correct interpretation of Section 3—based upon its clear language—requires that your decision depend upon the evidence adduced at an adjudicatory hearing providing due process for Trump.”
Then the article continued “The reason why you cannot lawfully remove his name from the ballot in the absence of an adjudicatory due process hearing is that the Fourteenth Amendment provides that ‘nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,’ Banzhaf’s legal analysis says.”
Banzhaf’s analysis continues: “In summary, I would most respectfully suggest that Section 3 [of the 14th Amendment] requires Trump’s disqualification, but only if there is proof, presented in an adjudicatory legal proceeding during which Trump is entitled to due process, which establishes that he did in fact engage in insurrection.”
At this time, Trump’s possible removal from ballots because of Section 3 is being considered in at least 17 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Banzhaf has provided the same legal analysis to the other states, and he expects that they will likewise agree that Trump cannot be kept off the ballot without being given a chance to defend himself and his actions in a fact-finding proceeding which provides him with due process.
Meanwhile, a judge in Colorado overseeing one of many cases raising the same issue has set oral argument on October 13 to hear claims that the litigation is an attempt to retaliate against Trump’s free speech rights, and a trial beginning October 30th about whether Trump needs to be removed under Colorado law prohibiting candidates who don’t meet qualifications for higher office from appearing on ballots.
Interestingly, the judge also issued a partial gag order – requested by the plaintiffs but opposed by the defendant – prohibiting threats and intimidation in the case, saying the safety of those involved — including herself and her staff — made it necessary.
In Minnesota, the state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on virtually the same issue on November 2nd, and a similar law suit aimed at keeping Trump off the ballot has also been filed in Oklahoma.