Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Donald Trump was judged to be guilty. Can he now contest for the US presidency?

Donald Trump was judged to be guilty. Can he now contestDonald Trump

Donald Trump, the former US president and Republican nominee, was convicted in the country’s first criminal trial of a former president. The latest guilty verdict in Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial may change the political landscape five months before Election Day.

In an unusual turn of events ahead of the upcoming general election in November, the leading candidates in the US presidential race, President Joe Biden and Donald Trump, find themselves in a unique situation. Notably, one of the leading candidates is a convicted felon, marking an unprecedented scenario in US political history.

It is noteworthy that Donald Trump leads Joe Biden in most polls despite having survived two impeachments and numerous other scandals. On May 30, Trump was found guilty of falsifying business records in a scheme to unlawfully influence The 2016 election via hush cash bills to a porn actress who claimed that they’d an encounter.

According to the US Constitution, a presidential candidate must be at least 35 years old, a US citizen, and have lived in the country for 14 years. Therefore, a criminal conviction does not affect a candidate’s eligibility to run for president. Even if the former President were sentenced to prison before the election, he could still continue his campaign. However, considering opinion polls, a conviction could potentially cost Trump votes in the upcoming elections.

Is Donald Trump qualified to vote?

Donald Trump can cast a vote for himself in Florida in November’s election as long as he avoids imprisonment in New York state. Since Trump resides in Florida, where the laws restrict the voting rights of individuals with felony convictions, his ability to vote depends on remaining out of prison in New York.

Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida, said, “His rights depend on his sentencing,” in a social media post on X (previously Twitter). His state’s felony disenfranchisement laws, which differ from those of other states for citizens convicted of felonies committed outside of the state, was reportedly something he kept track of.

Blair Bowie of the Campaign Legal Center noted in a post, “If a Floridian’s voting rights are restored in the state of conviction, they are restored under Florida law,” according to AP. He emphasized that Florida’s complex rules frequently confound those who do not have Donald Trump’s legal resources.

In Donald Trump’s case, New York law specifies that voting rights are only suspended for individuals convicted of felonies while they are serving their sentence. Once released, their right to vote is automatically restored, even during parole, under a law passed by New York’s Democratic legislature in 2021.

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Even if Donald Trump were to be re-elected as president, he would not have the authority to pardon himself of state charges in New York. This limitation exists because the president’s pardon power only extends to federal crimes, not state offenses.

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