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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Section 3 and State Law--Rhode Island

I think that I have found one state where state law can be read to encompass Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. Here is Rhode Island's statute on candidates seeking to run in the state's presidential primary:

Any person seeking the endorsement of a national political party for which a primary is being held shall, during the ninety-fourth (94th) through and including the ninety-sixth (96th) day preceding the presidential preference primary being held, provide written notification to the secretary of state of his or her intention to run in the presidential preference primary. When the deadline falls on a Saturday, said written notification may be filed with the secretary of state on that Saturday until noon (12:00) p.m. The notification shall include the candidate's name and address and a statement affirming their eligibility, under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to serve, if elected, in the office of President of the United States. The notification shall also include the name and contact information of the designee authorized by the presidential candidate to act in his/her stead in Rhode Island.

            (b)(1) Upon receipt of the notification referred to in subsection (a) of this section, the secretary of state shall, by six o'clock (6:00) p.m. on the same day, prepare petition papers for candidates who are eligible to serve in the office of President of the United States, clearly marked with the candidate's name, party designation, and the office the candidate seeks; provided, however, that for notifications filed on a Saturday deadline by noon (12:00) p.m., petition papers shall be prepared by two o'clock (2:00) p.m. on that Saturday.

There's more, but here's the takeaway. The Rhode Island statute refers in general terms to eligibility, rather than stating specific eligibility criteria that do not include Section 3. Moreover, the eligibility determination in the first instance must be made by the Secretary of State. Thus, the Rhode Island Secretary of State can determine if Section Three is an eligibility requirement for President and decide accordingly with respect to a candidate. And then litigation would follow if the candidate was denied ballot access on Section 3 grounds.

Perhaps another state has a law like Rhode Island's, but I doubt it. Some states simply let the party chairs decide on primary eligibility and say nothing about the issue otherwise. Other states refer to only the requirements set forth in Article II of the Constitution.

Posted by Gerard Magliocca on October 23, 2021 at 09:41 PM | Permalink

Comments

Since the 14A provision reaches further than the president alone, state law could include references that go beyond merely presidential primaries.

Thus, the state and federal constitutional requirements for multiple offices are cited on this page regarding NY law:

https://www.elections.ny.gov/RunningOffice.html

The references aren't complete. After all, both state and federal provisions are in place to bar office for conviction by impeachment. Like Trump, some are upset Cuomo got a chance to leave office without removal with a further bar from serving office.

It should be remembered each time that the president is not the only person involved here.

Posted by: Joe | Oct 24, 2021 11:50:03 AM

But the qualificaiton that the secretary of state will "prepare petition papers for candidates who are eligible to serve in the office of President of the United States,” certainly leaves open the possibility that the sec of state could decide (one could even argue they are required to) not to prepare such papers for anyone who is not eligeable.

Posted by: Peter Gerdes | Oct 24, 2021 8:54:28 AM

But the qualificaiton that the secretary of state will "prepare petition papers for candidates who are eligible to serve in the office of President of the United States,” certainly leaves open the possibility that the sec of state could decide (one could even argue they are required to) not to prepare such papers for anyone who is not eligeable.

Posted by: Peter Gerdes | Oct 24, 2021 8:54:27 AM

Interesting, but I don't see any relevancy here to Section 3 simply.

This is rather technical over such legal complex determination, needed for disqualification due to Section 3. All it says actually is, I quote relevant major part:

"The notification shall include the candidate's name and address and a statement affirming their eligibility, under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to serve, if elected, in the office of President of the United States"

So, the maximum, would be, that, from his part, on his own initiative, the candidate would add the statement needed, that, he is eligible to run for presidency, because, he never ever took part in any rebellion or insurrection. But, who would do that? And we don't see, any power here, of the secretary of state, or local board of the city surly (mentioned there, see link hereby) to conduct any investigation and determination, concerning eligibility in relation to Section 3.

Here:

http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE17/17-12.1/17-12.1-4.HTM

Thanks

Posted by: El roam | Oct 24, 2021 6:05:38 AM

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