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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Pro: Trump Ballot Case

Pro%3A+Trump+Ballot+Case

Background Information:

After the 2020 election, on Jan. 6th, 2021, thousands of Trump supporters marched to the Capitol and engaged in violence under the false pretenses that the election was stolen. Trump’s speech in support of the protestors with statements like “fight like hell” has been called into question for inciting an insurrection. Fast forward to this year, Colorado and Maine have thrown Trump off the primary ballot for violating the Disqualification Clause. Under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, “No person shall be…an officer of the United States… shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof…” On Feb. 8, the Supreme Court of the United States held arguments over whether former President Trump should be eligible to run in Colorado’s primary ballot. On Mar. 4, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Trump can stay on the ballot.

 

Taking Trump off the ballot will silence millions of Americans and ensure their voices will never be heard. Our politicians do not have the right to choose who we can vote for as it will unleash chaos in our American political system and will put an end to democracy as we know it once and for all.

Trump’s trial centers around Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, otherwise known as the Disqualification Clause, which prevents anyone from running for office who has engaged in an insurrection or rebellion.

It was mainly designed to keep former Confederates from holding office after the Civil War, making sure states treated all Americans fairly and justly regardless of gender or race. Because of this, Trump has not been convicted of engaging in an insurrection, he does not meet the disqualifying requirements laid out in the   14th Amendment.

“The whole point of the 14th Amendment was to restrict state power,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in the US Supreme Court. “So wouldn’t that be the last place that you’d look for authorization for the states … That seems to be a position that is at war with the whole thrust of the 14th Amendment.”

Furthermore, states using this amendment to justify oppressive rulings is the exact opposite of what the bill’s purpose was intended for.

“No one’s invoked [the 14th amendment] in 140 years, so it definitely feels like a legal Hail Mary from opponents of Trump to reach for it suddenly,” social science teacher Quinn McKenzie said.

While many speculate that he partook in an insurrection on January 6, it is notable to understand that he has still not been convicted of these crimes. In our country, one is innocent until proven guilty, and only then will they face the consequences which ensures that no one is wrongfully accused of a crime, guaranteeing a fair and impartial trial.

“He has not been found guilty of inciting an insurrection and until he does, there’s no proper justification for him being thrown off the ballot,” freshman Ashwin Anand said.

Furthermore, as seen in the primaries, Trump has already received significantly more votes than the other Republican candidates, highlighting that a significant portion of Americans want him as president.

“I think [keeping Trump on the ballot] encourages democracy because he is the preferred candidate,” McKenzie said. “In a true democracy, we would say throw your hands up if that’s what the people want. Allowing what the people want to take precedence over what the legal precedent is probably more democratic.”

According to YouGov, a British international market research company, 65% of Americans believe that the country is more divided than ever. This is cause for concern, as American politics are so polarizing right now that states feel emboldened to remove opposing candidates off the ballot when they disagree with their viewpoints. We must hold the line in Trump’s scenario to ensure democracy.

“It protects against the unfair discrimination of certain political figures because if he is thrown off the ballot that could open a can of worms,” Anand said. “More and more candidates could be kicked off the ballot for less and less significant reasons.”

According to a nationwide poll done by over 1,200 participants from Reuters, Trump leads Biden 40% to 34%. Because of this, voters would like to have their voices heard and their votes represented.

“Trump handily won the Republican primary, so the majority of Republican-aligned voters seemed to want Trump, and they could say their opinions are not being heard or not being respected,” McKenzie said. “To echo our school’s motto, diversity of thought is important.”

In the end, regardless of what party you support, Americans need to do their research before forming opinions on such cases.

“Americans broadly occupy these very small digital media spheres where they’re getting media from the sources that they choose and even if we don’t intentionally do that, the algorithms are going to feed us content that we engage with,” McKenzie said. “We’re going to end up in these hyper-polarized media echo chambers, meaning that we’re only ever going to see one side of an issue.”

Removing Trump from the ballot will have devastating consequences for the American people and will unleash chaos in our political system currently.

“I think ultimately whether or not you believe that Donald J Trump inciting an insurrection on January 6th, 2021, has no bearing on this case,” Anand said. “He has not been proven guilty and until he is, there is no cause to remove him from the ballot.”

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About the Contributor
Aarav Gupta, Staff Writer
Aarav Gupta is a freshman entering his first year on staff as a news writer. In his free time, he likes to fence, participate in Forensics or play video games such as Fifa. Contact him at [email protected].

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