Iowa bill bans 14th Amendment primary ballot challenges to help Trump.
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This measure, which was submitted by the office of the Secretary of State of Iowa, is intended to prohibit Iowans from challenging Donald Trump’s inclusion on the ballot for the general election in 2024 on the basis of the 14th Amendment.
His victory in Iowa and New Hampshire this month has established him as the leading candidate for the Republican candidacy in 2024. The former president is currently in the lead.
However, Trump’s candidacy has been challenged in over thirty states, including Colorado and Maine, which have argued that he should be removed from their primary ballots in accordance with Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment prohibits officials from holding office again if they “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.
It is set to begin on February 8 that the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Trump’s appeal of the Colorado lawsuit, which centered on his activities leading up to and during the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. The judgment of the court could have repercussions for other states.
Iowans would still be able to dispute Trump’s eligibility in court if the bill in Iowa were to pass, but they would not be able to do so through the state’s legislation that allows them to object to candidates taking part in the election.
How would the Iowa bill limit ballot challenges for Trump?
The bill that was submitted by Paul Pate, a Republican who serves as the Secretary of State for the state of Iowa, would restrict the grounds that might be used to challenge a presidential candidate during the general election.
In order to be eligible for the general election, political parties in Iowa are required to provide the office of the Secretary of State with a certificate that contains the names of their candidates for president and vice president 81 days before the election.
All challenges against presidential candidates would be limited to determining whether or not the certificate in question satisfies all of the legal standards, according to the measure.
According to Derek Muller, an election law professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, the bill would “pretty clearly foreclose any challenge to a presidential candidate for being not qualified under the United States Constitution.” Muller made this statement in reference to the bill. What this means is that it would be designed to prevent a challenge similar to those that were filed in Colorado in Maine.
According to the law that is currently in effect, Iowans have the ability to challenge the eligibility of candidates for primary and general elections to appear on the ballot for a variety of reasons.
The existing statute, according to Ashley Hunt, a spokesperson for Pate, gives the paperwork that candidates submit in order to run for office a presumption of legality and restricts the types of issues that can be taken into consideration for objection.
According to what she stated in an email, “This merely extends that same standard to all candidates explicitly.”
In response to a question about how the bill would influence any prospective challenges to Trump, Hunt said that it would make Iowa’s objection procedure more transparent.
Hunt stated in an email that “to the best of our knowledge, Mr. Trump met the Constitutional requirements to be president in 2015 and continues to do so.” This statement was made in reference to this fact. It is not true that Mr. Trump has been found guilty of any offense that would disqualify him from being president. Simply put, this law contributes to the clarification of the objection procedure for Iowa.
Iowa bill would remove felony ban for federal candidates
Additionally, the Iowa law would narrow the grounds for challenging all federal candidates, including those running for the presidency and Congress, by limiting those challenges to the candidates’ age, residency, citizenship, and whether or not their nomination papers meet all of the legal criteria.
Hunt stated that the eligibility requirements for the presidency and Congress are outlined in the Constitution of the United States of America, and that states do not have the ability to impose extra restrictions on candidates for federal office in the same way that they can implement such requirements for candidates for state office.
Under Iowa law, applicants for any office, including federal ones, are required to provide an affirmation that they are aware that they are ineligible to hold office if they have been convicted of a crime; this requirement applies to all offices. This requirement would be removed for federal candidates running for the presidency and Congress if the bill were to become law.
Trump is currently being investigated for 91 felony offenses in four different criminal cases around the country.
According to what Hunt stated in an email, “The Constitution of the United States of America establishes eligibility requirements for Congress and the President of the United States.” Affidavits are guaranteed to be in accordance with those criteria thanks to this upgrade.
According to Muller, the language of the bill is more of a technical clean-up than anything else.
It is not possible to challenge someone for being a convicted felon for a position in the federal government, according to Muller, because the Constitution does not include that as one of the qualifications. Consequently, the purpose of this is to draw attention to the fact that this is not a reason to raise an issue.
On January 18, the language of the bill that had been pre-filed that had been submitted by the secretary of state’s office was posted on the website of the Iowa Legislature. There is no bill number associated with it, nor has it been assigned to a committee as of yet.
As of right now, the legislation in Iowa requires that any objections to candidates be submitted in writing. An attorney general, the state secretary, and the state auditor are the three individuals that make up the State Objection Panel, which is responsible for hearing the challenges.