States may move to keep Trump off the ballot based on 14th Amendment disqualification (1 Viewer)

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    superchuck500

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    Section 3 of the 14th Amendment:

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    There is a growing movement in some states to conclude that Trump is already disqualified under the 14th Amendment and they may remove him from the ballot. This would set-up legal challenges from Trump that could end up at the SCOTUS.

    The 14A disqualification doesn’t have any procedural requirements, it simply says that a person that does those things can’t serve in those offices. It a state says it applies to Trump, it would then be on Trump to show that it didn’t (either because what he didn’t doesn’t amount to the prohibited conduct, or that president isn’t an “officer” as intended by the amendment).

    States are in charge of the ballots and can make eligibility determinations that are subject to appeal - there is actually a fairly interesting body of cases over the years with ballot challenges in federal court.


    More on the legal argument in favor of this:


     
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    As the Supreme Court weighs whether Donald Trump is eligible to again serve as president, the justices will confront a politically fraught and fractious question:

    Did he engage in insurrection before and during the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021?


    The issue looms over both the case they will hear this month and the 2024 campaign. President Biden and other critics of the Republican presidential front-runner say that the attack was an insurrection under any definition and that Trump was the clear instigator.

    They note that more than 1,200 people have been charged with crimes related to the events of that day, with more than 850 of them convicted.
Trump himself faces 91 charges across four cases, two of which are related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

    But insurrection is not among the charges, and he was acquitted by the Senate after the House impeached him on charges that included inciting an insurrection.

    Trump and his supporters say the lack of insurrection charges shows that the term does not apply.

    The Supreme Court has the power to settle the matter, but it’s not clear that it will. The justices are due to hear arguments Thursday, and though they are widely expected to resolve whether he is eligible, they could choose to decide the case on narrow grounds that sidestep the question of insurrection.

    The case centers on a Civil War-era provision of the Constitution and raises issues that have lain dormant for more than a century. Interviews with legal scholars and historians reveal sharply divergent opinions that do not always follow ideological lines, reflecting why some believe it’s so difficult to predict where the court’s six conservatives and three liberals will land……

     
    As the Supreme Court weighs whether Donald Trump is eligible to again serve as president, the justices will confront a politically fraught and fractious question:

    Did he engage in insurrection before and during the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021?


    The issue looms over both the case they will hear this month and the 2024 campaign. President Biden and other critics of the Republican presidential front-runner say that the attack was an insurrection under any definition and that Trump was the clear instigator.

    They note that more than 1,200 people have been charged with crimes related to the events of that day, with more than 850 of them convicted.
Trump himself faces 91 charges across four cases, two of which are related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

    But insurrection is not among the charges, and he was acquitted by the Senate after the House impeached him on charges that included inciting an insurrection.

    Trump and his supporters say the lack of insurrection charges shows that the term does not apply.

    The Supreme Court has the power to settle the matter, but it’s not clear that it will. The justices are due to hear arguments Thursday, and though they are widely expected to resolve whether he is eligible, they could choose to decide the case on narrow grounds that sidestep the question of insurrection.

    The case centers on a Civil War-era provision of the Constitution and raises issues that have lain dormant for more than a century. Interviews with legal scholars and historians reveal sharply divergent opinions that do not always follow ideological lines, reflecting why some believe it’s so difficult to predict where the court’s six conservatives and three liberals will land……

    It doesn't matter if Trump engaged in insurrection.

    1. 1/6 absolutely fits the definition of an insurrection. People are in prison as we speak for seditious conspiracy.
    2. Aid and comfort. Trump provided material aid by refusing to call in additional law enforcement.

    That's all we need. An attempted insurrection happened and Trump helped.

    Done.
     
    When Jill Habig had an office down the hall from Kamala Harris in California, Barack Obama was US president, abortion was a constitutional right and January 6 was just another date on the calendar. A lot has happened since then.

    On Thursday Habig, now president of the non-profit Public Rights Project (PRP), hopes her arguments will persuade the supreme court that Donald Trump is an insurrectionist who should be disqualified from the 2024 presidential election.

    Habig has filed an amicus briefon behalf of historians contending that section 3 of the 14th amendment to the constitution, which bars people who “engaged in insurrection” from holding public office, applies to Trump’s role in the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol.


    The brief gives the supreme court’s originalists, who believe the constitution should be interpreted as it would have been in the era it was written, a taste of their own medicine. Conservative justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are self-declared originalists while Samuel Alito has described himself as a “practical originalist”.

    “Our goal was to bring an originalist historical perspective to the supreme court as it considered the meaning of section 3 of the 14th amendment,” Habig, a former special counsel to then California attorney general Harris, says by phone from Oakland.

    “The point we make with our historian colleagues is that the history of section 3 is actually very clear. It demonstrates that section 3 was intended to automatically disqualify insurrectionists.”

    The amicus brief, led by historians Jill Lepore of Harvard and David Blight of Yale, cites debates from the time in which senators made clear that their view that the provision that would not only apply for former Confederates but to the leaders of rebellions yet to come.

    Habig adds: “It was intended to apply not only to the civil war but also to future insurrections and it bars anyone who has betrayed an oath to uphold the constitution from becoming president of the United States.”

    The supreme court will hear arguments on a Colorado case in which Trump was stricken from the ballot; a decision in Maine is on hold. Other states have ruled in favor of keeping Trump on the ballot. The flurry of decisions have prompted debate over whether Trump can be fairly considered to have committed insurrection even though he has not been found guilty in a court of law – at least not yet.

    Habig, who founded the PRP in 2017, says yes. “It’s clear historically that there was no requirement of a conviction or even of charges, that the framers intended section 3 to be self-executing. The brief goes through a number of examples of people who had taken part in the secession and been on the Confederate side actually petitioning Congress for exceptions. There’s a lot of evidence that it was self-executing. There was no need for a particular conviction.”

    She adds: “The evidence that we have seen and heard and watched with our own eyes over the last few years has made it quite clear that President Trump lost an election in 2020 and has spent the months and years since then trying to overturn the results of that election in a variety of ways, including people marching to the Capitol and invading the Capitol.”

    Indeed, Blight has pointed out that the US Capitol was never breached during the civil war but was on January 6. Habig comments: “It’s difficult to argue with a straight face that these activities don’t qualify for section 3.”……..


     
    Just after the Civil War, Union cavalry arrested Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at the Georgia plantation where he had enslaved 34 people. The former U.S. congressman was sent to a military prison at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor, where he awaited a potential trial for treason.

    Nicknamed “Little Aleck,” the tiny, frail Stephens had a boyish face that had appeared on the Confederate $20 bill. His high-pitched voice belied his skills as an orator. In March 1861, days after he had helped draft the Confederate constitution, Stephens had thrilled an audience in Savannah with his Cornerstone Speech, which proudly identified racism and slavery as the new rebel government’s core principles.

    “Its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition,” Stephens had said.

    Stephens spent only five months in prison: In October 1865, President Andrew Johnson granted him parole. Three months later, in January 1866, Georgia’s newly elected, all-White legislature voted to send Stephens back to Washington to serve in the U.S. Senate.

    Stephens’s story sheds light on the momentous question the U.S. Supreme Court takes up this week: whether Section 3 of the 14th Amendment disqualifies former president Donald Trump from running for president again.

    In 1866, Congress wrote Section 3 to keep former Confederates like Stephens from returning to power. It bars anyone who swore an oath to support the Constitution, and then engaged in insurrection or rebellion against it, from holding office again.

    In May and June 1866, as the Senate debated the 14th Amendment, Section 3’s framers addressed several questions that Americans are asking today. The senators made it clear that Section 3 applies to presidents. They agreed that insurrectionists didn’t need a criminal conviction to be disqualified from office. They warned of the danger of reelecting oath-breakers and described Section 3 as self-defense for American democracy...........

    On May 23, 1866, Howard suggested “a clause prohibiting all persons who have participated in the rebellion … from all participation in offices, either Federal or State, throughout the United States. I think such a provision would be a benefit to the nation.”

    A week later, Howard introduced Section 3’s language, which says, “No person shall … hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath … 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.”


    Section 3’s framers made it clear that this response to insurrection applies to presidents.

    “This amendment does not go far enough,” complained Sen. Reverdy Johnson (D-Md.), because past rebels “may be elected President or Vice President of the United States, and why did you omit to exclude them?”

    Sen. Lot Morrill (R-Maine) interrupted, saying, “Let me call the Senator’s attention to the words ‘or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States.’”

    “Perhaps I am wrong as to the exclusion from the Presidency; no doubt I am,” Johnson replied.

    Sen. Waitman Willey (R-W.Va.) called Section 3 “a measure of self-defense,” warning, “Shall we again trust men of this character, who, while acting under the obligation of the oath to support the Constitution of the United States, thus betrayed their country and betrayed their trust?”


    Sen. John Henderson (R-Mo.) made clear that this wasn’t just about ex-Confederates, saying, “The language of this section is so framed as to disfranchise from office the leaders of the past rebellion as well as the leaders of any rebellion hereafter to come. It strikes at those who have heretofore held high official position.”

    Section 3’s framers and critics in the Senate agreed that it disqualified insurrectionists from office whether they had been convicted of a crime or not.

    “The guilt or innocence of the party was not the matter at issue,” Willey said. “We were not trying them for their crimes, but we were providing security for the future peace of the country.”

    Henderson concurred: “It is said that these leaders ought not to be condemned unheard, that they should not even be disqualified for official position until their guilt is established in a court of justice. … But when it is only proposed to fix a qualification for office and deny them future distinctions, which would rather make their treason honorable than odious, I do not hesitate to act.”.............




     
    A US supreme court case that could remove Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot is the culmination of several years of work by left-leaning watchdog groups to reinvigorate the 14th amendment and its power.

    A Colorado case that found Trump couldn’t run for re-election there was filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew), though other groups and individuals have filed lawsuits and petitions in many states trying to remove Trump under the 14th amendment’s third clause. The clause says that people who were in office and participated in an insurrection against the US can’t hold office again.

    Some of the challenges have gone through the courts, while others have appealed directly to elections officials in charge of placing candidates on the ballot. Colorado was the first ruling to decide against Trump, so it is headed to the supreme court at the former president’s behest. Because of how consequential and rare the issue is, it was expected that the high court would eventually be the arbiter of how the clause applied in the modern era.


    Crew, a non-profit that has focused in part on Trump corruption issues since he took office, researched the 14th amendment and found it was “really built for this moment”, said Noah Bookbinder, the organization’s president. The group first brought a test case against a local elected official in New Mexico who participated in the January 6 insurrection. Couy Griffin, then a county commissioner in Otero county, New Mexico, was removed from office for violating the 14th amendment.

    “We would have ideally liked to bring a number more of those kinds of cases to really establish more of a track record and some more precedent,” Bookbinder said. “Donald Trump sort of forced our hand because this was the person who had really, really landed this attack on a democracy.”…….

     
    No surprise, but no way the case holds up. Trump will not be excluded from state ballots.

    Yeah, the justices where clearly looking for a way to allow Trump back on the ballot in Colorado. They want no part of disqualifying him via the 14th amendment. What they will effectively do though is make it impossible to ever enforce the 14th Amendment. If a situation like this, where Trump clearly participated in an insurrection, isn't enough to disqualify him from running again, nothing will.

    The lawyer arguing the case for the plaintiff has a very compelling argument and was able to answer their question fully, but it was clear the justices were in no way open to them. The case was decided before the arguments today, they were just searching for rationale with the questions they asked.
     
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    Yeah, the justices where clearly looking for a way to allow Trump back on the ballot in Colorado. They want no part of disqualifying him via the 14th amendment. What they will effectively do though is make it impossible to ever enforce the 14th Amendment. If a situation like this, where Trump clearly participated in an insurrection, isn't enough to disqualify him from running again, nothing will.

    The lawyer arguing the case for the plaintiff has a very compelling argument and was able to answer their question fully, but it was clear the justices were in no way open to them. The case decided before the arguments today, they were just searching for rationale with the questions they asked.
    Yep. They definitely want to punt this away.
     
    So, someone should correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the only the being argued is if the 14th amendment applies to the President, right? Trump's lawyers never argued that he didn't engage in insurrection, so that is just taken as fact by court right?
     
    So, someone should correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the only the being argued is if the 14th amendment applies to the President, right? Trump's lawyers never argued that he didn't engage in insurrection, so that is just taken as fact by court right?

    Not exactly. The conservative justices asked whether this should be called an insurrection and who has the right/responsibility to determine that it's an insurrection. It wasn't the principle question of the case, but the conservatives justices where making it an issue based on their questions. They basically asked about every general Fox News right wing argument/questions/complaint regardless if it had specific relevance legal arguments of this case.

    Case in point:
     

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