Tracking Section 3 Trump Disqualification Challenges

Almost immediately after Jan. 6, 2021, legal commentators began debating whether Section 3 of the 14th Amendment could be used to disqualify former President Donald Trump from running in the 2024 presidential election. They discussed, in particular, whether or not Section 3 applied to a former president, whether it is self-executing, and whether Jan. 6 could be considered an insurrection or rebellion. 

Since then, the issue has become less abstract. In February 2021, the U.S. Senate acquitted Trump of an impeachment article for inciting insurrection, but with a bipartisan majority of the Senate voting to convict. Section 3 challenges have been mounted against several legislators, and one state-level county commissioner who participated in the attack was successfully ousted from his post under that provision. At the end of 2022, the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol made the argument that Trump did inspire an insurrection, referring him to the Justice Department for prosecution under multiple criminal statutes, including one prohibiting insurrection. The Special Counsel’s Office has since brought a criminal case in Washington, D.C. charging Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 attack. And some prominent legal conservatives have made the case for a strong, originalist reading of Section 3 that they argue would apply to Trump, immediately disqualifying him from office.

Beginning with a case in Florida in February 2023, voters and advocacy groups have brought many Section 3 challenges in state and federal courts across the country, attempting to block Trump’s name from appearing on ballots for state primaries and caucuses before the national election begins. This page is intended to track which states have active Section 3 litigation to remove Trump from the 2024 ballot. At the bottom is a selected reading of Lawfare's coverage on the issue. Note that the procedural posture and legal theories behind these challenges vary greatly, and a dismissal in any particular action does not necessarily bar other challenges from being brought in that same state.

This project was created by Hyemin Han and Caleb Benjamin. It was last updated on Nov. 29. 


Cases We're Watching


  • Colorado—Anderson et al v. Griswold et al was filed on Sept. 9, 2023 by six Colorado voters against Jena Griswold, in her official capacity as Colorado Secretary of State, and Donald J. Trump. On Nov. 17, Judge Sarah B. Wallace dismissed the petitioners suit, but determined that Trump engaged in insurrection. The Colorado voters have since appealed the ruling. Follow the docket here.
  • Minnesota—Growe et al v. Simon was filed on Sept. 12, 2023 by eight Minnesota voters against Steve Simon, in his official capacity as Minnesota Secretary of State. On Nov. 8, the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed the petition, but added that the plaintiffs could bring a new petition regarding the general election ballot following the upcoming Republican primaries. Follow the docket here.
  • Michigan—LaBrant et al v. Benson was filed on Sept. 29, 2023 by four Michigan voters against Jocelyn Benson, in her official capacity as Michigan Secretary of State. On Nov. 14, Judge James Redford of the Michigan Court of Claims dismissed the petition. Michigan voters filed an emergency bypass application for appeal on Nov. 16. Follow the appeal here.
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Lawfare Content on Section 3