A group of New Hampshire lawmakers are pressing David Scanlan, the Granite State’s secretary of state, to reject ongoing attempts to keep former President Trump off the 2024 ballot using the 14th Amendment.
“President Donald J. Trump is once again at the forefront of political attacks, this time by those who are attempting to disqualify the former President form appearing on New Hampshire’s primary ballot by weaponizing Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment against him,” the legislators wrote in a letter from the Trump campaign to Scanlan.
Scanlan and state Attorney General John Formella, both Republicans, issued a statement last month saying they were aware of discussion around the potential applicability of the 14th Amendment.
Some experts, lawmakers and activists have put forth a legal argument that Trump could be disqualified from the ballot under the 14th Amendment for his actions in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol. Section 3 of the amendment states that no person shall hold elected office who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States.”
On Tuesday, Minnesota became the second state to see an official legal filing seeking to prevent Trump from running by invoking the 14th Amendment.
The New Hampshire lawmakers called the argument an “absurd conspiracy theory.”
“The opinions of those perpetuating this fraud against the will of the people are nothing more than a blatant attempt to affront democracy and disenfranchise all voters and the former president,” they wrote. “These individuals who are seeking to deny voters to support their candidate of choice are nothing more than political pawns of the Left doing their bidding, which is disappointing since the Democrat Party has continually tried to strip New Hampshire of its First-in-the-Nation status.”
The legislators pointed to Scanlan’s comments made to NBC News late last month where he said he is “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.”
“We agree wholeheartedly and we should continue to empower voters, not disenfranchise them,” the lawmakers wrote.
The letter follows a lawsuit from a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group filed last week seeking to block Trump on the 2024 ballot in Colorado.
Section 3 of the amendment has rarely been used since the period immediately following the Civil War, and it has not been used to disqualify a presidential candidate.
Some who favor the amendment argument point to a New Mexico official who was ordered to be removed from office last year over his participation in the Jan. 6 attack.