Legal scholars from all sides of the political spectrum are making a case for the former president to be disqualified under the 14th Amendment, but the reality tells a different story.
Trump’s support is as strong as ever
A recent poll suggested over 60 percent of GOP voters want Trump to run in 2024. This makes his presidential nomination almost inevitable, and based on his comments regarding the Republican debates imply that he is very aware that there is no one among the candidates strong enough to beat him.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment
Under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, section 3 says no “person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military” who previously took an oath “to support the constitution of the United States,” but then went on to engage in “insurrection or rebellion.”
Conservative legal scholars presented their case
Conservative legal scholars William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulson presented a 126-page report arguing that January 6 was an “insurrection,” making it unconstitutional for Trump to run for office.
Northwestern University law professor Steven Calabresi, a founder of the conservative Federalist Society, echoed the statements of his colleagues.
Legal scholars joined forces
J. Michael Luttig and Laurence Tribe wrote for the Atlantic that Trump should be disqualified, stating, “No person who sought to overthrow our Constitution and thereafter declared that it should be ‘terminated’ and that he be immediately returned to the presidency can in good faith take the oath” required of presidents.
A strong case, but not likely to be applicable
Adam Kamenstein, a former federal prosecutor, told Newsweek, “The most highly respected, conservative legal scholars have recently made a trenchant and compelling case that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president, based on section three of the 14th Amendment, which prevents someone who participated in an insurrection from holding that office, as plainly as the Constitution bars someone who is foreign-born or younger than age 35.”
But there is a catch
Kamenstein continued, “However, like all legal arguments, its practical application rests on the common acceptance of certain facts. We don’t have that here today, where facts and truth vary depending on one’s political point of view.”
People won’t like it
“Even if everyone agreed on the underlying Constitutional scholarship, we would never see agreement on the facts to which it must be applied. So, no matter how compelling the legal scholarship, it is unlikely to gain broad acceptance,” Kamenstein concluded.
Baude and Paulson’s conclusion
The law scholars wrote, “The bottom line is that Donald Trump both ‘engaged in’ ‘insurrection or rebellion’ and gave ‘aid or comfort’ to others engaging in such conduct, within the original meaning of those terms as employed in Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. If the public record is accurate, the case is not even close.”
He should not run
“He is no longer eligible to the office of Presidency, or any other state or federal office covered by the Constitution.” Baude and Paulson added.
The filings are piling up
Free Speech for People, a left-wing group, has already filed requests in 10 states to disqualify Trump from the ballot. Republican presidential hopeful Asa Hutchinson believes “there should be a court declaration.”
This decision cannot wait
Edward Foley, a law professor at the Ohio State University, told the Guardian, “It’s really important to resolve this as soon as possible and definitely before the election and not afterward.” He added, “You could envision an effort to try and disqualify Trump after he’s won. And I think that would be a disaster.”
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