Bill Barr Joins Former AGs to Argue Trump is Constitutionally Qualified for Ballot

Bill Barr Joins Former AGs to Argue Trump is Constitutionally Qualified for Ballot

( – Last year, Colorado and Maine banned former President Donald Trump from the primary ballots. Although Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled against the former POTUS, the justices allowed him to remain on the ballot pending a US Supreme Court decision. Still, Trump is getting a lot of support, including from former Attorney General Bill Barr, in his fight to overturn the states’ rulings.

The Colorado Ruling

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that Section Three of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, known as the “Insurrection Clause,” prohibits Trump from appearing on the primary ballot. The clause was added to the Constitution after the Civil War to prevent Confederates from holding public office. It basically states that anyone who participated in an insurrection while serving as a public official could not serve in office again.

Critics argue Trump staged an insurrection on January 6, and that disqualifies him from ever serving as president again.

Attorneys General Support Trump

Barr and two other former attorneys general, Michael B. Mukasey and Edwin Meese III, as well as several law professors, filed an amicus brief on behalf of Trump. Breitbart reported the brief was filed by Gene Schaerr of Schaerr Jaffe LLP. It argues the Colorado Supreme Court got the ruling wrong, and their ruling is a “misrepresentation” of the clause. Further, they stated the ruling created a “ruinous” precedent.

The brief also argues the clause doesn’t pertain to the precedency. It states the clause omits the president and names specific offices, the House and Senate. They say that earlier versions of the amendment included language that also named the president and vice president, but they were later excluded.

According to the brief, even if the court found the former president did engage in an insurrection, Trump “cannot be excluded from any presidential election ballot on that basis.”

Finally, the brief argues that partisan politicians should not be allowed to unilaterally disqualify candidates. The attorneys argued that it could lead to a tit-for-tat situation where Republican secretaries of state could remove President Joe Biden from the ballot. They gave a hypothetical example where Georgia’s attorney general removes Biden “one day before the ballot certification deadline.”

Barr’s Opinion

In early January, Barr wrote an op-ed and argued against removing Trump from ballots. He stated that he opposes Trump, but thinks the measures to remove him are unconstitutional and dangerous. He said the former president has a “truculent, petty, and toxic persona” and it “will damage the country.” However, removing him from the ballot would be “politically counterproductive, and, most ominously, destructive of our political order.”

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