Democrats quietly consider using the 14th Amendment to stop Trump from running for office in 2024

Congressional Democrats are eyeing a little-known constitutional mechanism to prevent former President Donald Trump from running for re-election, citing his responsibility for the January 6 Capitol riots and subsequent attacks on American democracy.

Based on a new report in The Hill, at least a dozen Democratic lawmakers have quietly spoken out, both publicly and privately, about whether it can be used. Part 3 of the 14th Amendment permanently ban Trump – or anyone else involved in the planning or execution of the January 6 attacks on the Capitol – from seeking future elected office. The post-Civil War provision prohibits anyone participating in an “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States from seeking public office and says:

No person may become a Senator or Representative in Congress, or be elected President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States of America, or under any Which State, who has been sworn previously as a member of Congress, or as an official of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, in support of the Constitution of the United States, shall participate in insurrection or similar rebellion, or aid or comfort the enemy their. But Congress can vote with two-thirds of the votes of each House, eliminating that handicap.

This theory gained credence in the days following the Capitol riots, but quickly fell through in the hopes that Trump would finally accept his election defeat and reject the violence on May 6. 1. With the one-year anniversary of the attacks passed, and Trump’s false claims of a “stolen” election still running high, it seems the idea is once again on the horizon. discussed on Capitol Hill.

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Laurence Tribe, a constitutional expert at Harvard Law School who has spoke before about the 14th Amendment. “I hear it brought up with considerable frequency these days by both media commentators and members of Congress and their staff, some of whom have sought seek my advice on how to do Section 3.”

He shared with The Hill the names of several lawmakers who have reached out in recent weeks for advice on the game to figure out exactly how to employ such a controversial tactic. These include Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the House selection committee investigating January 6; Representative Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who told the magazine: “I continue to explore all legal avenues to ensure that those trying to overthrow our democracy do not be responsible for it.”

Neither of the other two Democrats spoke to The Hill about their queries, although Raskin gave an interview last February in which he expressed support for the premise.

RELATED: Laurence Tribe: If Garland Doesn’t Indict Trump, Rule Of Law Is “Out Of The Window”

“The purpose of the constitution is clear, to prevent people like Donald Trump and other union traitors from holding public office,” he told ABC News, adding that he intends to proceed. “do more research” on the matter before pursuing. it.

It’s unclear exactly how enforcement of such a provision might work – possibly for the first time in more than a century, Section 3 has been discussed in Congress, after it abandoned its mandate. enforced the provision on Confederate officials and some Ku Klux Klan members as a way to promote national unity during the Reconstruction period.

Constitutional scholars are divided on how enforcement of the rule would work, with one group arguing that a simple majority vote in both houses of Congress found Trump guilty of inciting the uprising. would be enough to ban him from holding public office in the future.

Others, including Tribe, said that a “neutral” fact-finding agency would have to determine if Trump was officially participating in an “insurrection” or a “rebellion” – a mandate for a council of Congress or a federal court.

RELATED: How Christian nationalism fueled the uprising: A religious history of January 6

A separate independent law proposed last year by Representative Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., would empower the US Attorney General to argue the same case before a three-judge panel, though although the bill itself has received little support. hitherto.

Free election groups, such as “Free Speech for All,” have even made the case that state election officials could use Section 3 on a state-by-state basis to eliminate Trump’s name off their ballot if he runs for re-election. in 2024.

All of these developments, however, will face major setbacks at the US Supreme Court, which maintains a conservative majority after Trump appointed three judges to the bench during his four years in office. Democrats quietly consider using the 14th Amendment to stop Trump from running for office in 2024

Huynh Nguyen

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