Should Trump Be Barred From the Ballot?

12 Jan 2024 • 62 min • EN
62 min
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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. 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. Mentioned: Researcher application Associate engineer application “The Sweep and Force of Section Three” by William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen “The Case for Disqualifying Trump Is Strong” by David French “Snakebit” by Nick Catoggio Book Recommendations: Operation Pedestal by Max Hastings Into the Heart of Romans by N. T. Wright Manhunt by James L. Swanson Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing by Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser.

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