In this article, Type Media Center fellow Elie Mystal discusses the impracticality of relying solely on the judicial system to prevent Donald Trump from becoming a candidate on the U.S. election ballot in 2024.


  • The 14th Amendment: In this article, Mystal outlines Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, which says that “no person having previously taken an oath to uphold the Constitution who engages in ‘insurrection or rebellion against the same’ is eligible to seek office again.” He notes the clear ways in which this provision could apply to Trump, before explaining the obstacles preventing its application.
  • A Risky Responsibility: The article delves into the complex and loaded request of asking a judge to make this ruling, noting just how much would be put on the line. Mystal references the lack of protection and support available to the judge who would “rule that the most popular Republican in the country is ineligible to run for president.”
  • An Unsteady Ruling: Mystal raises that a key reason for judges’ reluctance is the likelihood that the ruling would ultimately be overturned by the Supreme Court, considering that it is Republican-controlled. He poses the question: “Which judge wants to do that, get overturned, and still need to hire extra security for the rest of their life because they ruled that a man with a proven ability to inspire his followers to violence can’t run for office?”
  • Too Great a Demand: The article centers around the idea that applying the amendment to this situation asks too much of judges. Mystal remarks that it “asks them to save democracy (as in preventing traitors to democracy from ever rising to power again) by destroying democracy (as in preventing voters from reelecting traitors if that is their wish).”

Type Media Center’s Note

This article by our fellow Elie Mystal reflects Type Media Center’s dedication to nurturing independent journalism that not only informs but strives for societal change.