Another Unconstitutional Legal Strategy: Disqualify Trump Under the 14th Amendment
They just won’t stop.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the mental affliction commonly known as Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) should be listed in the medical index of Mental and Psychological Disorders.
The latest TDS strategy is to attempt to employ the 14th Amendment, specifically Section 3, to disqualify Trump:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability. [Italics added for clarity].
This 14th Amendment effort to disqualify Trump is the worst idea the Left has had since it traitorously tried, in 2017, to employ the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump right after his election.
According to former U.S. Attorney, Andrew McCarthy, the clear language of the provision doesn’t even apply to a President.
“The amendment explicitly refers to senators and members of the House, but when it comes to the executive branch, it refers to electors of the president and vice president, not the president and vice president themselves. Plainly, if it had been the purpose of the amendment’s framers to include the president and vice president, they’d have said so — they wouldn’t have left it at electors.” (National Review, Jan. 6th, 2022).
McCarthy further notes that “the presidency and the vice presidency are specially elected executive offices. Incumbents of these lofty positions are not mere “officers of the United States,” a term that generally refers to officials appointed by the president. Furthermore, it would make no sense to believe the amendment’s drafters intended the term “officer of the United States” to include the president, after the drafters went to the trouble of specifically invoking the president in providing a disqualification for electors of the president. Again, if they’d meant to include the president, they’d have said so.”
The assertion is that Trump engaged in “insurrection” or “rebellion.” That’s a major stretch. On the contrary, there is a much stronger argument to be made that Trump simply engaged his freedom to speak, to engage in political activity, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances that are unquestionably protected by the First Amendment.
That’s why an effort to disqualify Trump in this way would “violate the due-process protections that are explicit elsewhere in the Constitution. Removing Mr. Trump by fiat would also deny voters the constitutional right to vote for the candidate of their choice.” (Wall Street Journal, 9-5-23).
The Journal makes an even broader final point: disqualifying Trump in such a corrupt, partisan manner is exactly how “tens of millions of voters would see it, and the fury in response might not be limited to verbal protests or marches. Knocking Mr. Trump off the ballot would validate, in the eyes of his supporters, his claims that the election system is rigged and corrupt.” (WSJ, 9-5-23).
Those attempting this 14th Amendment fallacy “are playing with Constitutional fire,” said former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz—a liberal who has never voted for Trump—said “whether or not voters support the former president, they should all have the right to make their voice heard at the polls.” (FOX, 9-6-23). Dershowitz makes an important additional point that “there have been no insurrection indictments or convictions of Trump” and that the Left’s assertion that this 14th Amendment provision is also “self-proving” would also “nix(es) the Constitution’s impeachment provisions and the 25th Amendment.”
President Trump is entitled to the same constitutional rights every other American is and using the power of government to eliminate political opponents is what happens in dictatorships. It’s what happens in places like China, N. Korea and Iran and banana republics like Venezuela where the strongman in power uses the power of the media, and then the government, and then finally the military to crush the political opposition of the ruling regime.
This is not supposed to happen in America, but it is happening here.
Millions of Americans are not going to tolerate this.