On Friday, a coalition of voters, including the former mayor of Boston, filed a motion challenging the eligibility of former President Donald Trump to appear on the ballot in Massachusetts. The group contends that Trump should be disqualified under the 14th Amendment.
The complaint, organized by Free Speech for People, the same organization involved in 14th Amendment challenges in Minnesota, Michigan, Oregon, and Illinois, mirrors arguments made in Colorado and Maine. In those states, Trump has been temporarily removed from primary ballots pending ongoing legal appeals. The complaint alleges that Trump’s involvement in the January 6 Capitol riots falls within the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection clause,” which prohibits individuals who aid insurrection against the country from holding office.
Ron Fein, the legal director of Free Speech for People, stated, “Donald Trump violated his oath of office and incited a violent insurrection that attacked the U.S. Capitol, threatened the assassination of the Vice President and congressional leaders, and disrupted the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in our nation’s history.”
He emphasized the need to enforce the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause to safeguard the republic from individuals like Trump.
“Our predecessors understood that oath-breaking insurrectionists will do it again, and worse, if allowed back into power, so they enacted the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause to protect the republic from people like Trump,” he said. “Trump is legally barred from the ballot and election officials must follow this constitutional mandate.”
The complaint in Massachusetts, endorsed by voters, including two prominent law school professors from Boston College and Harvard University, as well as former Boston Mayor Kim Janey (D), references the successful removals in Colorado and Maine. The filing urges Secretary of State William Galvin (D) to follow suit and exclude Trump from the state’s primary ballot.
While Free Speech for People’s prior 14th Amendment complaints in Michigan and Minnesota were dismissed on procedural grounds, challenges in Oregon and Illinois remain pending review. The likelihood of one of these challenges reaching the Supreme Court sets the stage for a legal showdown that could significantly impact the 2024 presidential election.