A Chalmette lady has filed a petition opposing Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy and seeking an injunction to keep him off the Louisiana primary ballot in March.
Ashley Reeb filed the lawsuit against outgoing Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, requesting that Ardoin be forced to remove Trump from the state’s ballot due to his role in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
“Both Trump’s actions (engaging in insurrection) as well as his inaction (giving aid and comfort to insurrectionists) on Jan. 6, 2021, disqualify him from holding any office of/under the United States,” the letter states.
On December 22, Reeb petitioned the 19th Judicial District Court in East Baton Rouge Parish for an injunction. She confirmed her involvement in the lawsuit but declined to talk further to Fox 8.
As the petitioner, Reeb contends that Trump should be barred from running for a second term in office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
That provision states that “no person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in any act that would cause rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
A similar challenge to Trump’s eligibility was recently successful in Colorado, claiming the same constitutional basis.
On December 19, the Louisiana Supreme Court withdrew Trump from the ballot by a 4-3 decision, writing, “We do not reach these conclusions lightly.” We are cognizant of the gravity and weight of the issues before us. We are also conscious of our serious obligation to apply the law without fear or favor, and without being persuaded by public reaction to the decisions that the law requires us to make.”
The Colorado decision has been postponed until January 4. Trump’s campaign has stated that it wants to challenge the Colorado judgment to the United States Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a similar attempt to remove Trump from the ballot in that state on Wednesday (Dec. 27).
“Significantly, Colorado’s election laws differ from Michigan’s laws in a material way that is directly relevant to why the appellants, in this case, are not entitled to the relief they seek concerning the presidential primary election in Michigan,” wrote Justice Elizabeth Welch in her decision not to hear the case.
Other states, including Texas, Nevada, and Wisconsin, have filed disqualification challenges in response to Trump’s inclusion on the ballot.
Robert Collins, a political analyst at Dillard University, called Reeb’s petition “a very long shot.”
“It might be a different situation if he had been criminally convicted in a court of law of insurrection,” Collins went on to say.
Following the Jan. 6 riot, the House of Representatives impeached Trump, and he is now facing federal charges for his part in attempting to undermine the election results that Congress was certifying that day.
Trump was acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate, and he has not been convicted of any criminal offense.
“To make an interpretation that a president had engaged in insurrection, and to remove him from the ballot, I think most judges ideologically are just not there,” he said.
The lack of a conviction, according to LSU political science professor James Stoner, likely undermines the petition.
“The whole meaning of the rule of law is that a prosecutor can’t just jail you because he thinks you’ve done something wrong,” he said. “That’s only the beginning. The charge is made by the prosecutor, and it must then be tried. That’s exactly what happened with Trump’s impeachment. The impeachment is a prosecution, but he was not found guilty of the charges.”
Collins stated that the situation could alter depending on how the Colorado case is resolved by the US Supreme Court.
“If the Supreme Court upholds the Colorado case, it’s open season for these filings, and you’re going to see one in every state,” he warned.