Could Donald Trump's Civil War Post Disqualify Him From Running in 2024?

Donald Trump's "Civil war" social media repost has some commentators asking whether it could be evidence to disqualify him for running for office again.

The former president received widespread condemnation for sharing the post—written by another user—on Truth Social, the platform Trump set up after he was banned from Twitter in the wake of January 6 over fears he would incite further violence.

Author, journalist and attorney Seth Abramson was one of those who suggested that Trump resharing the post bolsters an "already-strong case" that Trump should be disqualified for running for president in 2024 under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment

It states that those who "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" after taking a congressional oath should be prevented from running for office.

For more than 150 years, it was little thought of. Today, however, it is often cited by those calling for the removal of politicians linked to events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Eric J. Segall, professor of law at Georgia State University College of Law, suggested that there are still too many unanswered questions about the clause before it might be used, including if constitutional oaths follow presidents after they leave the White House.

Trump 14th amendment civil war
President Donald Trump speaks at the "Stop The Steal" Rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. The former president is accused of violating section of 14th Amendment stating those who engaged in "insurrection" after taking oath cannot run for office by sharing a "civil war" social media post. Getty Images

Segall told Newsweek however, that such questions are immaterial because there is no indication that Congress would initiate proceedings over the post.

"If that was going to be done, it would have been done before because he was in office on January 6," Segall said. "He engaged in actual insurrection on that day, and the months before that.

"Those acts do disqualify him. But what he does after January 20, 2020, I'm not sure."

Reposting a comment on social media is unlikely to be enough, Segall added.

"If it says we should go to civil war then we could talk, but even then he's not in office right now."

Laurence Tribe, professor of Constitutional Law Emeritus at Harvard University, also suggested that there is no need to discuss whether the "civil war" post should disqualify Trump from office as he already should be due to his actions in and around January 6.

"Those who're saying this amounts to 'insurrection' disqualifying Trump from running for office under Sec 3 of 14th Am are undermining the REAL basis for deeming Trump an insurrectionist: Jan 6 & related ACTS, not 1st A protected SPEECH," Tribe tweeted.

Republican leader Trump is widely expected to run for president in 2024, although he has not confirmed a bid. His representatives have been contacted for comment.

The 14th Amendment has previously been cited in legal challengers from groups hoping to disbar people from office over the January 6 attack. That includes Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn.

However, a Georgia judge rejected an effort to disqualify Green for running for office again, ruling there was "insufficient" evidence to suggest she supported an insurrection.

Attempts to bar Cawthorn from running again ultimately proved fruitless as he lost his GOP primary to State Senator Chuck Edwards.

Trump became the first president in history to be impeached twice over accusations he incited his supporters to storm the Capitol on January 6 in order to stop the certification of the electoral votes in favor of Joe Biden.

The Senate later acquitted Trump of inciting the riot, paving the way for him to be allowed to run for the presidency again in 2024.

Donald Trump in new York City
Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan on August 22, 2021 in New York City. Trump's reposting of a "Civil war" comment is unlikely to lead to him being banned from office, experts have said in response to questions raised by commentators. James Devaney/GC Images via Getty Images