Six Colorado voters were supported by a D.C.-based organization. A non-profit organization has filed a lawsuit to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot.
The complaint, which invokes the 14th Amendment, which prohibits insurrectionists from holding public office, joins a rising chorus of Democrats alleging that Trump’s alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021 occurrences constitutes an “insurrection or rebellion.”
It’s nonsense—ugly politicking of the kind that’s become the norm these days as parties try to undermine our elections through the legal system. The language, historical context, and legal implications of the 14th Amendment all expose this effort for what it is: the work of desperate Democrats aiming to construct a political impediment to Trump’s presidential candidacy in 2024.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment makes anybody who “engages in insurrection or rebellion” ineligible to hold any office. Some people feel Trump’s role on January 6 matches this description, but they are mistaken.
14th Amendment’s Historical Context and Intention Clarified
The amendment’s specific wording is a direct reference to the Confederate states’ insurrection and rebellion during the Civil War, and it was intended to bar those who were actively involved in the Confederate cause from holding office rather than to serve as a broad provision applicable to future candidates based on subjective interpretation.
Indeed, the lack of established criteria for deciding whether someone is barred from running for office under the 14th Amendment demonstrates that its reach was meant to be limited. After all, if it were intended to be a general norm, unambiguous criteria for recognizing and adjudicating such circumstances would exist.
Then there’s the issue of who has the authority. The 14th Amendment’s disqualification language does not specifically establish a procedure for assessing eligibility, which raises the question of who would have the right to make such a judgment.
Individual states or political bodies might theoretically disqualify a candidate based on their interpretation of the legislation if there is no clear mechanism in place, resulting in uneven execution of the law.
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