Could Trump run for president again? What to know about a law that some say bans him from doing that

Although Former President Donald Trump is facing various indictments, he remains the frontrunner for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in the 2024 election.

However, there's an effort among some Democratic groups and legal experts to use a clause in one of the amendments to the U.S. Constitution to block him from the ballots next year.

Here's what to know about the efforts.

How can someone be disqualified from running for president?

Besides not meeting the requirements set forth in the constitution for who can be president, some believe a portion of the 14th Amendment to the constitution could also be used to disqualify someone from running for president.

What is the 14th Amendment?

On the website of the United States Senate, it is stated that the 14th Amendment was passed in 1866, and ratified two years later.

According to Congress's website, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution consists of multiple sections. The section relevant to the topic at hand reads:

Have any legal experts talked about the possibility of using the 14th Amendment against Trump?

According to Stefanie Lindquist, a Foundation Professor of Law and Political Science at Arizona State University, a law review article on the issue has been written.

"Two conservative law professors, one from the University of Chicago and one from the University of Saint Thomas, have written a very clearly influential law review article in which they make the argument that Section Three of the 14th Amendment clearly disqualifies Donald Trump, to the extent that he gave aid and comfort to - that's the language of the amendment - to the January 6 insurrectionists," said Lindquist.

Is this a clear-cut issue?

According to Lindquist, while there may be a valid, historical and legal claim that the amendment applies to Trump on grounds listed above by Lindquist, there are still questions on how Section Three would work.

"The question of whether Section Three, that power of disqualification is something that is what we call, in law, self-executing, or whether it requires Congress to pass a statute that specifically disqualifies individuals, and that it needs Congressional enforcement to actually work," said Lindquist.

Lindquist lists a number of other questions as well.

"So if, indeed, a state electoral official chooses to ban Donald Trump from the ballot, or if a lawsuit is brought to ban Donald Trump from a ballot somewhere in the United States, then a court will have to address the issue as to whether Donald Trump actually meets the criteria in Section Three: Did Donald Trump engage in insurrection or rebellion? Were his actions sufficient in terms of his speech on the mall that day to constitute an insurrection or rebellion under Section Three? Or was he giving aid and comfort to individuals who were engaging in such an insurrection, enemies of the United States Constitution on that day?" said Lindquist.

How likely is it that Section Three will be used?

Lindquist said the courts would have a hard time addressing this, because they don't have the results of the Federal case or the Georgia case against Trump. In addition, she said the U.S. Supreme Court may be very reluctant about wading into this issue, so close to the presidential election.

"The constitution binds all of us, right?" said Lindquist. "It binds government officials, but it also is something that every citizen has a responsibility to respect. As this information goes out into the world about disqualification under Section Three of the 14th Amendment, it may be that, you know, this is a persuasive argument to the public that voting against Donald Trump Is appropriate under the constitution. But that, I think, is a judgment that each individual voter will make based upon his or her own conscience."

Have people talked about using the 14th Amendment against other government officials?

According to a 2022 article by the Associated Press, voters from a congressional district once represented by Republican Madison Cawthorn, as well as voters from the congressional district currently represented by Marjorie Taylor Green, have alleged in legal filings that evidence shows the two helped facilitate the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Greene, according to a challenge filed with Georgia's Secretary of State, either helped plan the riot or helped plan the demonstration held beforehand, knowing that it was "substantially likely to lead to the attack, and otherwise voluntarily aided the insurrection."

Somewhat similar allegations were lodged with the North Carolina Board of Elections against Cawthorn, who spoke at the "Save America Rally" before the riot, saying the "crowd has some fight in it."

On their part, Greene and Cawthorn have said they did nothing unlawful such as encouraging political violence or participating in an insurrection.

Ultimately, Greene was found to be qualified to run for re-election, and was re-elected to Congress in 2022, while the challenge against Cawthorn's candidacy became a moot mater, as he lost against another Republican in a primary election for the seat he was holding.

The clause, according to the AP, was used successfully on at least one occasion in recent years: in 2022, a New Mexico state district court judge disqualified a county commission in the state from holding public office as a result of his actions on Jan. 6.

The judgment from New Mexico state judge permanently barred Couy Griffin, who was previously convicted in federal court of a misdemeanor for entering Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 without going inside the building, from federal and local public office. He was also removed from his position as county commissioner, and barred from serving as a presidential elector.