Donald Trump’s Lawyers Say He Never Took an Oath to Protect Constitution

[Jackson A. Lanier, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump have filed a brief with the Colorado state Supreme Court that will raise some eyebrows as they continue to fight to keep the GOP frontrunner on the ballot in that state. 

This week, they argued that the constitutional provision in the 14th Amendment that Democrats say should disqualify him from office does not apply to him. The reason? The lawyers claim that Donald Trump never took an oath to “support” the Constitution. 

One legal blog explains the purpose behind the strange maneuver: 

Among the points backing Donald Trump’s argument that the 14th Amendment doesn’t disqualify him from office is one that, at first glance, is a mix of laughable and disturbing: He never took an oath to “support” the Constitution.

Why would the former president emphasize such a thing? That’s because Section 3 of the amendment disqualifies insurrectionists who have “previously taken an oath … to support the Constitution.” Thus, the argument goes in his Colorado Supreme Court appeal, he’s eligible for the presidency again in 2024 because he swore to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution, not support it. 

It’s a level of hairsplitting that seems absurd, and perhaps it is. But his lawyers actually didn’t make it up. Indeed, in District Judge Sarah Wallace’s ruling earlier this month, aspects of which are being attacked by both sides, she ultimately rejected the challenge to Trump’s eligibility based partly on that same idea. She found that Trump engaged in insurrection but that the constitutional provision at issue doesn’t apply to presidents. 


The presidential oath reads as follows: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Democrats in Michigan, Georgia, New Hampshire and Minnesota have recently tried to block Trump from the ballot in the upcoming elections, but all attempts have so far been rejected. 

[Read More: Top CEO Backs Haley For President]