Viral Claim That “Trump Can’t Be On The Texas Ballot” Because He’s a Convicted Felon is Fact-Checked


Recently, a claim spread that former President Donald Trump might be barred from running for president due to a felony conviction under the Texas Constitution. This assertion has gained attention and caused confusion among social media users.

The original post shared on a platform known as Threads alleged that Texas law prohibits individuals convicted of a felony from seeking public office. It cited supposed provisions from the Texas Constitution suggesting that Trump’s recent felony conviction would disqualify him from presidential candidacy.

“Trump can’t be on the Texas ballot because of our state constitution,” The X post’s caption says. Text in the post, which was originally shared on X, formerly Twitter, says, “Texas law prohibits any person convicted of a felony from being a candidate for public office or holding any public office position.”

However, a fact-check by USA Today on Thursday, June 13, 2024, found these claims to be false. To begin with, the text in the post is not from the Texas Constitution. It actually comes from a webpage of the U.S. Probation Office for the Western District of Texas.

This page, titled “Civil Rights of Persons Convicted of Federal Felonies in Texas,” does not apply to Trump since his conviction was at the state level, not the federal level. Moreover, the webpage itself contradicts the claim made in the post. It clearly states, “The United States Constitution does not prohibit felons from holding elected federal office.” This specific text is also visible in the post.

The Texas Constitution does not contain any provisions that directly bar individuals with felony convictions from running for president. This is because eligibility to run for the presidency in the United States is determined solely by the U.S. Constitution, not state constitutions.

The U.S. Constitution outlines specific requirements for presidential candidates: they must be natural-born citizens, at least 35 years old, and have been residents of the U.S. for at least 14 years. Nowhere in these qualifications does it mention that a felony conviction would prevent someone from running for president?

Trump’s recent legal troubles, including his felony conviction for falsifying business records, do not automatically disqualify him from seeking the presidency. This conviction, which occurred on state-level charges, does not fall under the federal statutes that govern eligibility for federal office. Moreover, the Texas Election Code also aligns with the U.S. Constitution on this matter.

“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,” reads the code.

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