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Secretary of State Wes Allen joins amicus brief in Trump v. Anderson

Allen’s stance centers on the claim that actions in Colorado and Maine, which are the focal points of this case, do not align with constitutional provisions.

Secretary of State Wes Allen gives as an inaugural speech during the inauguration ceremony on Jan. 16, 2023. Inauguration Committee/Bryan Carter

Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen has joined an amicus brief in support of the Trump v. Anderson case before the United States Supreme Court. This move, made on Thursday, aligns him with ten other Secretaries of State across the nation.

“The actions taken in Colorado and Maine are not based in the Constitution. Section three of the 14th Amendment does not provide an affirmative obligation to Secretaries of State to disqualify a candidate for President of the United States based on that section,” Allen explained. “Furthermore, as Secretaries of State, we do not have the jurisdiction to adjudicate the qualifications of a Presidential candidate under section three. This brief notifies the Supreme Court of those facts.”

An amicus brief, a “friend of the court” document, presents arguments to the Justices that might not be offered by the parties involved in the case.

Allen’s stance centers on the claim that actions in Colorado and Maine, which are the focal points of this case, do not align with constitutional provisions. He argues that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not mandate Secretaries of State to disqualify presidential candidates based on this section. Furthermore, he asserts that as Secretaries of State, they lack jurisdiction to determine a Presidential candidate’s qualifications under this section. The brief includes a reference to a 2014 Alabama case, McInnish v. Bennett, where it was ruled that the Secretary of State of Alabama does not have an affirmative duty to investigate a presidential candidate’s qualifications before placing their name on the ballot. Allen emphasizes that both the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court of Alabama indicate the limitations of his office in removing a Presidential candidate.

“Both the United States Constitution and the Supreme Court of Alabama indicate that to remove a Presidential candidate is not within the power of my office,” Allen said. “My role in this matter is clearly defined and I believe it is important for the United States Supreme Court to be as aware of that as I am.”

This case, Trump v. Anderson, has garnered significant attention, and the Supreme Court’s ruling is highly anticipated in the coming weeks. Allen, serving as Alabama’s 54th Secretary of State, and is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives and was a Probate Judge in Pike County.

The context of this case is set against a broader political landscape where the Republican National Committee and other GOP committees have shown support for Donald Trump’s efforts to remain on the 2024 ballot. This follows a Colorado Supreme Court decision to remove Trump from presidential primary ballots based on his involvement in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The RNC and other committees argue that such actions are undemocratic and amount to election interference, while emphasizing the importance of voter decision in the electoral process.

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Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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