Fact Check: Texas Constitution Does NOT Bar Trump From Presidential Ballot Due To Felony Convictions -- US Constitution Sets Requirements

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Texas Constitution Does NOT Bar Trump From Presidential Ballot Due To Felony Convictions -- US Constitution Sets Requirements Federal Laws

Does the Texas Constitution prevent Donald Trump from being on the presidential ballot there due to his conviction on 34 felony counts? No, that's not true: State-level laws do not govern eligibility for federal office. The U.S. Constitution sets the requirements for the presidency, which include being a natural-born citizen, at least 35 years old, and a resident of the U.S. for at least 14 years. It lists no disqualification for felony convictions.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on X, formerly Twitter, on June 6, 2024. The post's caption said:

Trump can't be on the Texas ballot because of our state constitution.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:


(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Jun 11 17:59:58 2024 UTC)

The post

Lead Stories found the passage highlighted in the social media post on the U.S. Probation Office - Western District of Texas website, under a section on "Civil Rights Restoration." It doesn't appear in the Texas Constitution (archived here). The page specifically addresses the "civil rights of persons convicted of federal felonies in Texas," so Trump's conviction in New York on state felony charges wouldn't be applicable in any case.

Texas Secretary of State

Alicia Phillips Pierce, assistant secretary of state for communications, told Lead Stories in a June 12, 2024, email that the State of Texas doesn't set the requirements for the White House. She said:

The qualifications for federal office are determined by the U.S. Constitution, not the state constitution.

U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Constitution spells out the qualifications for the presidency in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5. It says:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Texas Election Code

Additionally, language on page 746 in the Texas Election Code (archived here) defers to the U.S. Constitution. It says:



(a) A political party is entitled to have the names of its nominees for president and vice-president of the United States placed on the ballot in a presidential general election if: (1) the nominees possess the qualifications for those offices prescribed by federal law ...

Read more

Additional Lead Stories fact checks on claims concerning Donald Trump can be found here.

Other Lead Stories fact checks on claims about U.S. elections can be found here.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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