BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — A South Florida lawyer has filed a civil lawsuit against Donald Trump in which he argues that the former president is ineligible for office.
When asked why he is suing, Boynton Beach-based attorney Lawrence Caplan said on Friday it’s all laid out in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Caplan added other lawsuits may follow.
“I’m not political. I’ve voted for both Democratic and Republican presidents,” he said.
He may not be overly political, but Caplan said he has concerns if Trump becomes president of the United States again.
“I think we’ll be looking at the end of American democracy as we’ve come to know it,” he said. “There’s no hard and fast rule that says that a democracy has to last forever.”
Which is why the attorney said he filed a lawsuit to prevent Trump from running. His reasoning? Trump’s federal indictment following the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Caplan calls upon the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit states in part, “Section 3 of the 14th Amendment automatically excludes from future office and position of power in the U.S. government … any individual who has previously taken an oath to support and defend our Constitution and after which acts so as to rebel against that charter.”
“It’s really common sense, based upon the facts that we know them today, regarding specifically the January 6th indictment, that Donald Trump was very much involved in the planning,” he said.
Caplan claims Trump doesn’t even need to be convicted of the crime.
“But the fact that he was indicted by a federal court for these crimes that are specifically listed in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, it’s what’s called in the law self-executing,” he said.
Regarding that section of the 14th Amendment, Caplan admits in the lawsuit, “While one can certainly argue that it has not been thoroughly tested, that fact is only because we have not faced an insurrection against our federal government.”
“The Section 3 has sort of fallen by the wayside. It was passed in 1868 after the Civil War to prevent Confederate hangers-on from running for office,” said Caplan.
Trump surrendered on Thursday following a fourth indictment.
In Lake Tahoe Friday, President Joe Biden reacted to Trump’s mug shot, the first taken for any U.S. president.
“I did see it on television,” said Biden. “Handsome guy, wonderful guy.”
Trump was booked on 13 charges at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia, related to alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Reacting to the 18 other defendants that were booked in Georgia this week, Trump said, “I looked at some of the other people. Now, I don’t know a lot of those people. I don’t even know that I’ve met a lot of those people.”
The last of the 19 defendants in the Fulton County election subversion case surrendered before the Friday noon deadline. They include prominent figures like former New York City Mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
7News did not immediately hear back from the Trump campaign regarding a response to the civil lawsuit.
Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- New York approves gun law requiring buyers to provide social media handles
- Enforcement of new structural safety law examined
- Rabbi sues Florida over abortion ban law arguing it infringes on religious liberty
- Maryland law expanding who can perform abortion takes effect
- Why a good lawyer never ignores the court of public opinion