Manhattan state senator pushes for Donald Trump’s disqualification from November presidential ballot in New York

Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal looks to disqualify Trump from ballot
FILE – New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman talks with reporters during a special legislative session at the state Capitol, Dec. 22, 2022, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

Manhattan State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal filed an objection with the state Board of Elections Tuesday, seeking to block Donald Trump’s name from appearing on New York’s ballot in this year’s presidential election.

The move from Hoylman-Sigal (D), along with City Council Member Shekar Krishnan (D-Queens) and Gertrude Fitelson — who is not a lawmaker — came just hours after New York Republican election officials decided not to remove the former president’s name from the April primary ballot. 

The question of whether Trump qualifies for ballot access is currently being weighed by the U.S. Supreme Court after Colorado’s highest court blocked Trump from its ballot on the grounds that he violated the “Insurrection Clause” of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment by inciting the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on Capitol Hill. The court will hear oral arguments in the case on Thursday, according to a published report.

Hoylman-Sigal, whose Manhattan district includes Trump Tower, said in a statement that the former president should be removed from the ballot for “engaging in and inciting” the Jan. 6 assault by the mob of angry Trump supporters, white supremacists and militia members.

“The Board of Elections can still uphold the United States Constitution by sustaining our objection and disqualifying Donald Trump from the presidential ballot,” the state lawmaker said. “As the Colorado State Supreme Court has already rightfully ruled, Donald Trump is disqualified from holding any elected office in the United States due to engaging in and inciting a violent insurrection in which he attempted to overturn the will of the American people while taking multiple lives.”

Holyman-Sigal added that if the state BOE still refuses to kick Trump off the ballot, “I will see them in court.”

Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection with Trump insetted
Donald Trump (inset), the former president and current Republican presidential nomination frontrunner, faces federal criminal charges for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. AP Photos

The case for disqualifying Trump is based upon an interpretation of the 14th Amendment’s Insurrection Clause that says those who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after taking the oath of office will be barred from holding future office. The 14th Amendment was ratified in July 1868, amid Reconstruction and three years after the end of the Civil War, and the Insurrection Clause sought to ensure former confederates would no longer be able to serve in American government.

“The decision by New York State’s Board of Elections to allow Donald Trump to appear on the Republican primary ballot is a misreading of the US Constitution,” Krishnan said, in a statement. “The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution plainly disqualifies anyone who has ‘engaged in insurrection’ from holding office, including former President Trump.” 

Republican state BOE Commissioner Tony Casale said Tuesday that while the board had received “several pieces of correspondence” requesting to deny Trump ballot access, none of the requests “qualifies as an objection as outlined by the requirements of the election law.” 

In order for objections to stand, Casale said, objectors must file them within three days of the certificate filed by any candidate for ballot access — something he said did not happen in this case.

Trump was one of four Republicans who made New York’s primary ballot. Other names that will appear include former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as well as two candidates who have since dropped out of the race — entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.