CREW is suing the Department of Justice for records pertaining to all opinions, memoranda, or analyses issued by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) concerning Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. CREW originally sought these records in a FOIA request on January 25, 2023, which intended to shed light on the extent to which the DOJ has evaluated disqualification under the 14th Amendment and its application to public officials who participated in the January 6th insurrection. 

In the wake of the January 6th insurrection, substantial questions arose about whether government officials who played a role in the attack—including former President Donald Trump—are disqualified from public office under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Although the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. Anderson found that states cannot enforce Section 3 against federal office-seekers without a congressionally-prescribed procedure for doing so, the Court left the lower courts’ findings that Trump was an oath-breaking insurrectionist. Considering that Trump is the Republican party’s presumptive presidential nominee for the 2024 election, concerns of his disqualification from holding office are of lasting importance.

As the Office of Legal Counsel provides legal advice to the President and all agencies within the executive branch, the OLC’s views on this subject carry great weight.  The records CREW seeks would give the public necessary clarity on what exactly those views are.

Lawsuit documents

Read More in Lawsuits