October 1, 2023


Below New Hampshire legislation, the title of anybody who pays the submitting payment and swears they meet the age, citizenship and residency necessities “shall be printed on the ballots.”

New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State Patricia Lovejoy, left, appears on as Secretary of State David Scanlan explains that he is not going to use an modification to the U.S. Structure to dam former President Donald Trump from the poll within the state that may maintain the primary Republican presidential major subsequent yr, on the Statehouse, in Harmony, N.H., Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. AP Picture/Holly Ramer

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s high election official stated Wednesday he is not going to invoke an modification to the U.S. Structure to dam former President Donald Trump from showing on ballots within the state, which is able to maintain the primary Republican presidential major subsequent yr.

“So long as he submits his declaration of candidacy and indicators it beneath the penalties of perjury and pays the $1,000 submitting payment, his title will seem on the presidential major poll,” Secretary of State David Scanlan stated in a press convention he referred to as to deal with numerous authorized efforts to bar Trump from the 2024 race.

Below New Hampshire legislation, the title of anybody who pays the submitting payment and swears they meet the age, citizenship and residency necessities “shall be printed on the ballots.”

“That language isn’t discretionary,” stated Scanlan, a Republican elected by the Legislature with bipartisan assist in 2022 after serving 20 years as deputy secretary of state.

Scanlan rejected claims made in lawsuits filed in New Hampshire and elsewhere that Trump is ineligible to run for the White Home once more beneath a not often used clause beneath the 14th Modification to the U.S. Structure, which prohibits those that “engaged in an riot or riot” towards the Structure from holding larger workplace. Whereas different election officers have stated they’re searching for steerage from the courts on interpret the clause, Scanlan stated it doesn’t pertain to working for workplace.

“In a state of affairs the place some states allow a reputation to look on the poll and different states disqualify it, chaos, confusion, anger and frustration would be the end result,” he stated. “At a time when we have to guarantee transparency and construct confidence amongst voters across the nation, the delegate choice course of shouldn’t be the battleground to check this constitutional query.”

The Civil Conflict-era clause prohibits anybody who swore an oath to uphold the Structure — after which broke it — from holding workplace. The availability is nestled on the finish of the 14th Modification, which has been the inspiration of civil rights litigation, and doesn’t explicitly point out the presidency however does cite “presidential electors.”

It has been used solely a few occasions since Congress rescinded the measure’s ban on former Confederates in 1872. However the clause acquired renewed consideration after the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Trump who have been in search of to halt certification of the 2020 election outcomes.

The liberal group Free Speech For Individuals, which sued to bar Trump from the poll in Minnesota on Tuesday, requested in 2021 that each one 50 states preserve the previous president off the 2024 poll. These calls for have drawn extra consideration as voting within the Republican presidential major attracts nearer and an rising variety of authorized students argue that the 14th Modification may very well prohibit Trump from working once more.

Scattered lawsuits have been filed making that declare, normally by comparatively obscure political personalities representing themselves, similar to in Maine and New Hampshire. In each states, a longshot Republican presidential hopeful who lives in Texas has filed the lawsuit. However the first wave of great litigation started final week when a outstanding liberal group sued to maintain the previous president off the Colorado poll. The Trump marketing campaign briefly moved the case from Colorado courtroom to federal courtroom, however on Tuesday it returned to state courtroom.

The problem will probably solely be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Courtroom, which has by no means dominated on the clause.

Most Secretaries of State have balked on the concept of placing a presidential candidate on their very own. Minnesota Secretary of State Scott Simon, a Democrat, stated in a press release final week that his workplace can’t take such motion by itself and will solely accomplish that if compelled by courts.

“The Workplace of the Minnesota Secretary of State doesn’t have authorized authority to analyze a candidate’s eligibility for workplace,” Simon stated days earlier than the lawsuit filed by Free Speech For Individuals to declare Trump ineligible.

Scanlan’s announcement, backed up by a authorized evaluation from the state lawyer basic, got here a day after the Trump marketing campaign despatched him a letter signed by dozens of Republican state lawmakers urging him to reject what they referred to as “an absurd conspiracy principle.” The state’s Lawyer Normal John Formella stated Scanlan doesn’t have authority beneath state legislation to dam a candidate from the poll on grounds that they could be disqualified beneath the modification.

New Hampshire legislation does give Scanlan sole authority to schedule the first. He hasn’t carried out that but, however on Wednesday introduced that candidates can join between Oct. 11 and Oct. 27.

Riccardi reported from Denver.