Why some Democrats are trying to disqualify Trump from Georgia’s ballot

‘Nobody is above the law’
Democratic state Rep. Derrick Jackson has introduced House Bill 1159, which seeks to disqualify Donald Trump from the state's presidential ballot under the insurrection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Bob Andres / robert.andres@ajc.com

Credit: Bob Andres/AJC

Credit: Bob Andres/AJC

Democratic state Rep. Derrick Jackson has introduced House Bill 1159, which seeks to disqualify Donald Trump from the state's presidential ballot under the insurrection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Bob Andres / robert.andres@ajc.com

A handful of Georgia Democrats are pressing legislation to disqualify Donald Trump from the state’s ballot, part of a spate of nationwide efforts that invoke the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause to bar the former president from running again.

The proposals have no chance of passing the Republican-controlled Legislature, but sponsors hope they help energize Democrats who demand they pursue every option to block Trump from running after he tried to subvert his 2020 election defeat.

Democratic state Rep. Derrick Jackson told “Politically Georgia” that he introduced his measure, House Bill 1159, at the urging of activists in his Tyrone-based district “who called me out” during a town hall for not taking more aggressive steps.

“There’s a difference between right and wrong,” Jackson told “Politically Georgia.” “Nobody is above the law.”

Separately, a dozen Georgia lawmakers signed onto a resolution by state Rep. Roger Bruce that urges Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to erase Trump’s name from the ballot. The Cobb County Democrat said his legislation is meant to send a signal to his constituents.

“I am concerned about the message we are sending to our children: Break the law, brag about it, manipulate the elections, disrespect women and one day you too can grow up to be the president,” Bruce said. “That is not the message I want to send.”

They are the latest attempts by Democrats to invoke the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from the ballot in 2024 after the Colorado Supreme Court in December disqualified Trump from that state’s primary.

Efforts have been underway in numerous states to disqualify Donald Trump from this year's presidential race under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday concerning a ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court to remove Trump from that state's GOP primary ballot. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwelli)

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That decision seems likely to be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard arguments Thursday from justices across the ideological spectrum who expressed skepticism about the Colorado ruling.

Separately, a group of left-leaning plaintiffs want the Georgia Supreme Court to consider a lawsuit seeking to oust Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, who was among a slate of GOP electors who falsely declared Trump the victor of the 2020 race.

Republicans have dismissed such complaints. Attorney General Chris Carr recently filed a court brief arguing that the Colorado ruling would “create widespread chaos” if allowed to stand. And some Democrats have argued that Biden should beat Trump at the ballot box rather than in the court system.

Jackson said he’s heard from party leaders asking “Is this the fight we want to fight?” But he said he was swayed by a Democratic voter in his district who brought up a different concern.

“If we don’t do this today,” he said she asked him, “what happens to our future?”