Constitutional law professor calls Trump’s argument “absurd” regarding the 14th Amendment

Laurence Tribe, a prominent constitutional law professor, commented on Trump’s argument against Section 3 of the 14th Amendment that could potentially keep him off the ballot in the 2024 elections.

Tribe on whether Trump meets the criteria

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MSNBC’s Joy Reid asked Professor Tribe if Trump meets the criteria. He said, “It is clear that Section 3 by itself says that anyone who ‘engages in an insurrection or rebellion against the Constitution of the United States,’ that’s the phrase, not just against the government, but against the Constitution of the United States, is not entitled to another bite at that apple.”

Trump’s claims were “absurd”

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The former president said it “might apply to a county commissioner in New Mexico, but it doesn’t apply to him because it doesn’t apply to the president,” and Tribe called it “an absurd argument.”

The Constitution “couldn’t be clearer”

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The professor said in August, while talking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, that the Constitution “couldn’t be clearer” when it comes to someone in Trump’s position being in the office.

Tribe pointed out at another of Trump’s statement

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While on CNN, the law professor stated, “When he said he was going to pardon the ones who breached the Capitol and who had Confederate flags in there and caused mayhem and even death, that sure sounds like giving aid or comfort to the enemies of the Constitution.”

Inside the Constitution

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Tribe explained, “It talks about insurrection or rebellion. But it also says that if you’ve taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and thereafter give aid or comfort to the enemies of that Constitution, then you are disqualified, period. So, all of the charges against the president, which, at the moment, don’t happen to include insurrection, are really beside the point.”

The problem with the 14th Amendment

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CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig agrees that Trump is eligible for Section 3 of the 14th Amendment but has many questions. Honig wondered, “The problem is that the Fourteenth Amendment tells us nothing about how that decision gets made, nor does any caselaw or statute that’s been passed.”

Senate, House, Congress?

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Honig asked, “Does Congress decide? Is it the Senate? Is it the House? Is it a majority? Is it two-thirds? Is it a court? Is it a jury? Is it a judge?”

Trump’s lawyer used this talk in the D.C. case

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Lindsey Halligan, part of Trump’s legal team, told Newsmax, “I think this 14th amendment stuff is potentially tainting the jury pool. I think the January 6 committee—the fact that that was publicized for everyone to see and it was completely one-sided—that has potentially tainted the jury pool.”

This was in response to Jack Smith’s filing

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“I shouldn’t have a protective order placed on me because it would impinge upon my right to FREE SPEECH,” the former president said in a post on his Truth Social platform. (Photo by SAUL LOEB and Eva Marie UZCATEGUI / AFP)

Halligan explained, “Jack Smith filed a complaint in the January 6 case alleging that Donald Trump’s Truth [Social] posts are potentially tainting the jury pool.”

Trump raged on Truth Social

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“Almost all legal scholars have voiced opinions that the 14th Amendment has no legal basis or standing relative to the upcoming 2024 Presidential Election,” Trump wrote.

It went on

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He continued, “It is just another ‘trick’ being used by the Radical Left Communists, Marxists, and Fascists, to again steal an Election that their candidate, the WORST, MOST INCOMPETENT, & MOST CORRUPT President in U.S. history, is incapable of winning in a Free and Fair Election.”

Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner said Trump was “already disqualified”

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Kirschner said the prohibition in the 14th Amendment is “automatic,” adding, “In the states where they refuse to put Donald Trump on the ballot because he engaged in an insurrection, a suit will be brought, undoubtedly.”

Kirchner believes it will go up to the Supreme Court

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The former federal prosecutor shared, “Once it bubbles all the way up to the Supreme Court,” he added. “They will support the conclusion and the interpretation of the Constitution that says Donald Trump is disqualified from holding federal office again.”

Former federal prosecutor explains how the 14th Amendment “fits Donald J. Trump like a glove”

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Former federal prosecutor Shan Wu said he supported blocking Donald Trump by using the 14th Amendment and outlined what should be done to remove the former president from the 2024 ballot.

Trump is facing over 90 charges

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The 45th president was indicted in Georgia, DC, Florida, and New York. The last two, in Fulton County, Georgia, and D.C., are dealing with events leading to and escalating on Jan. 6 and Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn his election loss to Joe Biden.

Still, Trump is likely to get the GOP’s nomination

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In a fair amount of Republican voters, every indictment comes with a boost in polls, so on average, Trump leads nearly 30 points over Ron DeSantis. Even conservative legal scholars and experts expressed that under 14th Amendment section 3, Trump should not be allowed to run for the presidency.

Another former prosecutor spoke up

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Writing for Daily Beast, Wu, a former federal prosecutor who was a counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno in the Clinton administration, expressed that section 3 of the 14th amendment “fits Donald J. Trump like a glove,” Wu added a comment by a political podcaster Allison Gill, who asked if the clause “wasn’t designed for Trump, who was it designed for?”

The “perfect phonecall”

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Wu explained, “The plain language of the clause obviously encompasses Trump’s actions to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.”

Additional votes

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Wu added, “These actions include but are not limited to asking the Georgia Secretary of State to find additional votes for him, conspiring to put forth slates of unelected ‘fake’ electors for the electoral college, and his call for ‘wild’ protests on Jan. 6 that led to the attack on the Capitol.”

Many ways

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Wu stated, “There exist a multitude of ways to enforce the disqualification of Trump.” He wrote, “For starters, secretaries of state could simply decide he cannot be on the ballot. Secondly, citizens and states could challenge his presence on the ballot through the courts.”

An example from New Mexico

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Wu added, “There has already been a recent case involving the removal of a Jan. 6 rioter from their position on a New Mexico state commission.”

Trump’s spokesperson dismissed the efforts

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In a statement Newsweek published, Trump’s spokesperson wrote, “Joe Biden and the Democrats are scared to death because they see the polls showing President Trump winning in the general election.”

Already lost

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It should be noted that Trump lost elections to Joe Biden, and the Republicans lost the Senate in 2022.

The statement continued

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“That’s why they are pursuing this absurd conspiracy theory. The lawyers who are pushing this political attack on President Trump are stretching the law beyond recognition, much like the political prosecutors in New York, Georgia, and D.C. There is no legal basis for this effort except in the minds of those who are pushing it,” the statement added.

Trial first, decision later

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Not all legal scholars agree that Trump could be removed from the ballot. Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg told Newsweek that the former president “has not been charged with insurrection or seditious conspiracy. I don’t think the 14th Amendment will be used to keep him out of office. It will be up to the voters to do that.”

“Urban legend”

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Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley called the efforts an “urban legend” and argued that the process would fall apart on whether or not Trump’s action constituted “insurrection or rebellion.” It comes as no wonder DOJ wants a speedy trial. 

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