An insurrection almost three years ago is now a potential disqualifier for Donald Trump.

Democratic lawmakers in New York are pressuring the Board of Elections to disqualify the former president from the state's primary ballot, based upon the 14th amendment of the U.S. constitution barring an insurrectionist from holding office. 

What You Need To Know

  • Members of the state legislature and City Council are urging the State Board of Elections to disqualify Donald Trump from the primary ballot
  • The Republican members of the board will determine whether he qualifies for the ballot in February
  • Some lawmakers are already expecting to challenge that decision in state court

Last month, state lawmakers sent a letter to the BOE to urge them to take action, and now city lawmakers are doing the same.

“Anyone who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and engages in insurrection shouldn’t be able to qualify for a federal or state ballot,” said State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal.

There are similar efforts all across the country. Both Maine and Colorado have disqualified the former president from their presidential primary ballots. The Trump campaign appealed the Maine decision this week and on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the Colorado case.

On Wednesday, 29 members of the city council sent a letter to the New York State Board of Elections to urge officials to disqualify him here too.

“For the integrity of our electoral process in New York state, for the public’s faith in our state’s electoral system and under the rule of law the New York State Board of Elections must adhere to our United States Constitution and exclude Donald Trump from the ballot in our state,” said Queens Councilman Shekar Krishnan.

In response, the councilman received a threatening voicemail from a Trump supporter on Wednesday.

For now, Trump’s fate is in the hands of the Republican members of the State Board of Elections, who must determine whether he qualifies for the ballot here.

They are expected to make a decision in early February. From there, election experts said voters could challenge the decision in state court.

“The Board of Elections, of course, is made up of two Republicans and two Democrats and you need a majority to disqualify Trump,” said election lawyer Jerry Goldfeder. “So, ultimately it is going to the courts of the state of New York to make the final determination.”

Not surprisingly, state Republican leaders would prefer that the courts, and of course, these Democratic lawmakers, stay out of it.

“They should allow voters to determine whether Trump should be the Republican nominee,” said John Burnett, first vice chairman of the state Republican party. “So I call all those attempts, including this latest one, to keep Trump off the New York primary ballot as smash-and-grab politics trying to determine the outcome before voters have an opportunity to go to the polls.”