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Should Trump Be Barred From the Ballot?

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’

There’s this incredible dissonance at the center of our politics right now. On the one hand, all the polling suggests that Donald Trump is about to win Iowa Republican caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. He seems overwhelmingly likely to be his party’s nominee, and so possibly our next president. On the other hand, he could be constitutionally disqualified from taking office.

Colorado and Maine concluded as much, and tossed him off their ballots. And now the Supreme Court is poised to take on this unprecedented question of whether a little-known provision of the Constitution, written in the aftermath of the Civil War, can bar Trump from running and scramble the election in 2024.

[You can listen to this episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio App, Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

The Times Opinion columnist David French has been on the show before, as both a guest and a guest host, to break down the criminal cases against Trump. This time, I’ve asked David back to make his case for why Trump is constitutionally disqualified. We discuss some of the biggest objections, what the Supreme Court is likely to do, and how the possible options risk destabilizing the country in different ways.

Below is an edited excerpt from our conversation. You can listen to the full interview above or by following “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio App, Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google or wherever you get your podcasts. View a list of book recommendations from our guests here.

Ezra Klein: The legal movement right now to take Trump off the ballot, my sense is that emerged because of a law review article that, unusually, changed the world a bit. And this is a piece by William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen called “The Sweep and Force of Section 3.”

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