The plot was hatched by Bryant ‘Corky’ Messner, the Republicans’ 2020 Senate nominee in the state, who pointed to the increasing number of legal scholars who believe Trump is ineligible to serve as president due to the 14th Amendment.
Messner is mulling a lawsuit that points to the amendment’s disqualification clause, which forbids any candidate who swore an oath to the Constitution but then ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion’ from taking office again.
Trump would be disqualified, some experts believe, for his role in January 6 and attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
‘The governor first heard about this effort over the weekend. The governor is not making any attempt or assisting any effort to keep anyone off the ballot,’ Sununu’s spokesperson Ben Vihstadt told Fox News Digital Wednesday. ‘He has not spoken to and has nothing to do with Mr. Messner’s actions.’
Former President Donald Trump (left) likely won’t be tossed from the New Hampshire ballot, according to the spokesperson for New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (right), despite the GOP governor being a critic of the ex-president
The plot was hatched by Bryant ‘Corky’ Messner (pictured), the Republicans’ 2020 Senate nominee in the state – who was endorsed by Trump. Messner pointed to legal scholars who believe Trump is ineligible to serve as president due to his role in January 6
Vihstadt added that ‘providing he follows the same rules as all other candidates, the governor doesn’t expect ballot access will be a problem for the former president.’
New Hampshire plays an important role in both the primary and general elections.
After the Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire holds the country’s first presidential primary. In the general election, it’s also considered a swing state.
In 2016, New Hampshire was the first state then businessman and reality TV star Trump won – putting him on the path to win the GOP nomination.
Trump lost the state narrowly in 2016 to Hillary Clinton and by wider margins in 2020 to President Joe Biden.
Sununu, part of a political dynasty in the state, had mulled his own presidential run but is now courting anybody but Trump, arguing that the ex-president won’t be able to win a general election.
Still he won’t go as far as to try to push Trump from the ballot.
Neither will the state GOP.
‘Corky is a friend and I respect his opinions and judgment, but I totally disagree with him on this issue,’ State party chairman Chris Ager told Fox.
Messner, who ran for Senate in 2020 on Trump’s endorsement, told the network he believed the argument laid out by two members of the conservative Federalist Society, William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, in a forthcoming University of Pennsylvania Law Review edition.
‘This article presented a very, very, compelling analysis that in fact Donald Trump is disqualified from being on the ballot,’ Messner said.
Conservative J. Michael Luttig, a retired former federal judge, and liberal Laurence Tribe, a former Harvard Law School professor, wrote in The Atlantic that they also believed Trump is disqualified from serving again.
Luttig and Tribe also argued that ‘conviction would be beside the point,’ as the former president has been indicted four times, with two of the cases revolving around his efforts to overturn Biden’s 2020 win.
So far Messner has approached New Hampshire Secretary of State Dave Scanlan, meeting with him Friday.
Scanlan has asked the New Hampshire attorney general’s office for input on the matter.
‘Neither the Secretary of State’s Office nor the Attorney General’s Office has taken any position regarding the potential applicability of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to the upcoming presidential election cycle,’ a statement read.