Saturday, June 22, 2024

Can Trump return to power post-insurrection?

by David James
| February 7, 2024 2:00 AM

The Constitution (Section 3, 14th Amendment) explicitly prohibits anyone who has taken the oath of office as an officer of government, and then participated in an insurrection, “may not hold any office thereafter.”

There have been several arguments debating this. For one: It is not the Constitution, it is the Democrats trying to keep Trump off the ballot. Naturally, Trump and supporters are incensed believing Democrats are playing dirty tricks by trying to prevent his election to a second term, or it’s the corrupt “Deep State.” Other arguments include: The President is not an officer of the United States, Trump is disqualified only if convicted of a crime or when Congress passes a law, or Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment applies only to the 1860s. None of these arguments apply. Law professors of the conservative Federalist Society have stated extensively that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment unequivocally prohibits Trump from holding public office. 

  Colorado and Maine have declared Trump ineligible for the presidency. But, there could be more. The 14th Amendment was written after the Civil War to prevent anyone, like Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who the writers knew they couldn’t convict, from holding federal office. “To create an enduring check on insurrection, the authors of Section 3 required no further action was needed by Congress.” Participating in insurrection prohibits holding federal office. So, even though Trump has not been convicted of insurrection, his participation in the January 6 insurrection is not in question. The January 6 Committee presented evidence of Trump’s planning and manipulations. Clause 3 of the 14th Amendment establishes the qualifications for running for President, not a definition of a criminal offense, since his participation has been publicly proven to the public. 

Our Supreme Court majority comprises people who claim to care about the original intent of the people who wrote this amendment. If we believe in the Constitution and the constitutional rule of law, the Supreme Court decision in this case should be apparent, since no additional action is necessary.  If two-thirds of Congress decide to grant Trump amnesty for his conduct on January 6, 2021, then he is. The rule of law in America is at stake. Former Governor, National Republican Party Chairman and Lincoln County resident, Marc Racicot says it best:

“Should Mr. Trump be permitted to stand again for election to the presidency, despite his past actions, neither Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment nor the oaths that undergird the bedrock premise that public officials serve to advance the welfare of the people and our common national project will ever be the same. They will have been rendered meaningless in their legal force and stripped of their moral authority and power.” 

David James,

MA, PhD American History

Melbourne, AU and 

Eureka, MT