U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis is co-sponsoring legislation that, if passed into law, would prevent state-level officials from removing presidential candidates from their election ballots.
The bill comes in response to efforts in some states to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballots.
“Weaponizing state courts to remove candidates from the ballot not only undermines our political system, but seeks to silence the people of Wyoming and circumvent their will,” the Wyoming Republican, Lummis, said in a Tuesday morning press release.
These efforts have all been made under the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban.” Many have accused Trump of participating in an insurrection for his actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
On Monday, Trump won the Iowa Republican Caucus by an enormous margin.
What Does It Do?
Her bill, the Constitutional Election Integrity Act, would establish that only the U.S. Supreme Court has the authority to remove a presidential candidate from a ballot under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
If a state pulls a presidential candidate from their ballots under the guise of the 14th Amendment, they would be automatically prohibited from receiving federal money for election administration under the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
Wyoming received $141,043 through the Help America Vote Act in 2023.
Efforts To Remove
Two states have removed Trump from their ballots so far. These actions were taken by the Colorado Supreme Court and Maine’s secretary of state, both which determined that Trump’s role in Jan. 6 renders him ineligible for office.
An attempt was also made in Wyoming, which was rejected by a court earlier this month. This attempt also included an effort to remove Lummis from future ballots for refusing to certify certain results from the 2020 presidential election. Lummis herself won’t appear on a ballot again until 2026, if she chooses to run for reelection to the Senate.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Trump’s appeal of the Colorado decision in February. At least until the high court renders a decision, Trump will still be on the state’s ballots.
“Coloradans, and the American people, deserve clarity on whether someone who engaged in insurrection may run for the country's highest office," Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in a statement.
Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray told Cowboy State Daily he plans to file an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Trump in this case.
“I will continue to fight to make sure that voters can decide who to vote for themselves, without interference from election officials weaponizing the 14th Amendment against President Trump,” Gray said.
Federal and state courts, including in left-leaning states like California and Oregon, have rejected attempts to remove Trump from the 2024 ballots.
“Our founding fathers fought to give the American people the freedom to elect their president. They did not intend for political activists to abuse our judicial system,” Lummis said.
Gray, who intervened in the Wyoming and Colorado lawsuits, said he supports the federal legislation.
“I am supportive of measures which stop the unprecedented abuses of power we have seen from election officials across the country who are weaponizing the 14th Amendment against President Trump,” Gray said.
Gray has endorsed Trump’s campaign, as has Lummis.
The lead sponsor of the Constitutional Election Integrity Act, North Carolina Republican Rep. Thom Tillis, has not endorsed Trump, but was endorsed by him in 2019.
“Regardless of whether you support or oppose former President Donald Trump, it is outrageous to see left-wing activists make a mockery of our political system by scheming with partisan state officials and pressuring judges to remove him from the ballot,” Tillis said in a press release last week. “American voters, not partisan activists, should decide who we elect as our president.”
Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.