There is at least one candidate aspiring to become the U.S. president who is not qualified

Madame Secretary,

The following appears on the California secretary of state’s website:

Summary of qualifications and requirements for the office of United States president Republican Party, March 5, 2024, presidential primary election:

I. Qualifications: Every candidate shall be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least 35 years of age, and a resident of the United States for at least 14 years. U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5.

The California secretary of state’s “summary” includes the U.S. Constitution’s qualifications to be placed on the ballot for president of the United States (Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5), but fails to include the U.S. Constitution’s disqualifications to be placed on the ballot (Article 14, Section 3), to wit:

No person shall be a senator or representative in Congress, or elector of president and vice president, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability. U.S. Constitution, Article 14, Section 3.

There is at least one candidate aspiring to become president of the United States who is not qualified to hold that office due to his participation in an insurrection against the United States Constitution in violation of his sworn oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

This individual continues to support insurrection by his unfounded, unsubstantiated, and unproven claims of “election fraud” following the certification of the 2020 election by all 50 secretaries of state of the various states, and after a full and accurate counting of the Electoral College results, certified by the Congress of the United States. This confirmation of the American people’s rejection of this individual’s reelection followed an attack by insurgents on the Capitol of the United States during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, an attack in which this individual was an active participant through his words prior to the attack and his failure to take action during and after the attack. Through his words and deeds this individual continues “to give aid and comfort” to supporters and participants of the insurrection and the conspiracy to submit a false slate of electors to the Congress of the United States.

Article 14, Section 3, is a self-executing disqualification, and as such does not require a trial or verdict of “guilt” or “innocence,” just as the U.S. Army does not have to prove in a court of law that a blind, armless man does not meet the qualifications for enlistment.

In light of the above and in defense of the Constitution of the United States, I petition you, by authority of your office as secretary of state of the state of California, to disqualify Donald John Trump as a candidate for any local, state, or federal office, or to appear on any ballot anywhere within the state of California.

Still sworn to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” I remain, 

Stephen H. Siemsen.

Stephen H. Siemsen, CW3, U.S. Army (retired), writes to the Sun from Orcutt. Send a letter for publication to [email protected].

Editor’s note: This commentary was updated to remove a quote in the sixth paragraph attributed to Donald Trump that was not factual. The author of this commentary requested a retraction of the quote and surrounding text, and we have removed that sentence.

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