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GOP senators move to ensure the 14th Amendment won’t block Trump in Arizona


GOP senators move to ensure the 14th Amendment won’t block Trump in Arizona

Feb 26, 2024 | 6:32 pm ET
By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
GOP senators move to ensure the 14th Amendment won’t block Trump in Arizona
Photo by Gage Skidmore (modified) | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Republican state senators want to change the law to ensure Donald Trump isn’t barred from running for president in Arizona for supporting an insurrection and violating the 14th Amendment. 

On Monday, they passed a bill that would do just that. 

Trump is facing challenges in multiple states that are aiming to remove him from the Republican primary ballot on the basis of the 14th Amendment. In those cases, plaintiffs argue that Trump’s involvement in Jan. 6 as well as other actions in the aftermath of his presidential election loss disqualify him for office. 

A clause in the 14th Amendment was written to bar Confederate leaders from assuming power after the Civil War and forbids anyone that has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States from winning public office. 

Trump is currently awaiting a decision by the United States Supreme Court on one of these cases based out of Colorado.

Senate Bill 1158 says that “a candidate for president may not be excluded or removed from the general election ballot on the basis of a claimed violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution” if the candidate is the official nominee or “of a political party that is entitled to continued representation on the ballot.”  

Secretary of State Adrian Fontes has already said that Trump cannot be barred from the Arizona ballot. Similar challenges against other Arizona candidates have previously failed, as well

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Janae Shamp referenced the Colorado case when discussing the bill in a Senate Elections Committee hearing earlier this month. 

“In the United States of America, we are innocent until proven guilty, and that is all this bill is saying,” the Republican from Surprise said when explaining her vote on the bill on the Senate floor Monday. 

One of Shamp’s colleagues on the other side of the aisle said she felt that the bill sought to get around the 14th Amendment. 

Sen. Priya Sundarashen, D-Tucson, urged her colleagues to vote no on the bill, saying that the bill felt like a way to “bypass” the U.S. Constitution. 

The bill passed along party lines on a 16-13 vote and will head to the state House of Representatives for consideration.