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Secretary Schwab Joins Amicus Brief Filed with U.S. Supreme Court

Friday, January 19, 2024

Brief urges justices to define who can disqualify ballot access under Fourteenth Amendment

TOPEKA – Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab joined a coalition of secretaries of state in an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to narrowly define who can disqualify a presidential candidate from ballot access under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The amicus brief was filed with the justices ahead of their hearing on whether former President Donald J. Trump can be denied access to the Colorado ballot under the criteria set forth by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Colorado Supreme Court issued a 4-3 ruling in December barring Trump from the ballot, citing his role in the January 6, 2021, violence at the U.S. Capitol. Later that month, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows barred Trump from that state’s ballot under the same criteria. An appeal of that decision is on hold pending the U.S. Supreme Court outcome.

In their brief, Schwab and other secretaries request the ruling specifically determine that secretaries of state lack the authority to determine when the Fourteenth Amendment should be invoked. The amendment was adopted following the Civil War specifically to bar Confederates from serving as president because of their role in war against the Union.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the Colorado appeal on February 8. Secretary Schwab joined the secretaries of state from Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Tennessee, and West Virgina on filing the brief.

A copy of the brief can be found here.