WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the indictment against former President Donald Trump, many are wondering if it disqualifies Trump from running for the presidency? Or if a criminal conviction bars him from running for the presidency? A law professor explains.
Former President Donald Trump is the first former president to be criminally indicted. He is also running for president in the upcoming 2024 election. This is uncharted territory for our political and legal systems. While we wait for the arraignment, when the charges will be unsealed, we asked a law professor if an indictment can keep someone from running for the office of the president.
“The Constitution spells out very clearly the conditions to be eligible for the office of the president,” said Doron Kalir, Cleveland State University law professor. “In Article II, Section I, the Constitution specifically mentions three conditions. One: the person needs to be a natural born citizen. Meaning they were born here rather than naturalized later in their life. Second: they have to be of the age of 35 and up. And three: they have to be 14 years a resident of the United States.”
Former President Trump meets those conditions. If convicted, law professors explain he could still run for our highest office.
“There were plenty of convicted felons at the time of the founding fortunately or unfortunately, and it’s hard to believe that the founding fathers did not consider the possibility,” said Kalir. “They just preferred to leave it to the people and I think that kind of determination: by the people, for the people, stays with us well into two centuries later. So I think it’s not a fluke they forgot to mention convicted felons, they just thought the electorate body perhaps would be wiser than to choose someone who was convicted in a criminal trial for president.”