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Trump's actionsTrump and the January 6th insurrection.

Introduction

Trump's actions
Trump and the January 6th insurrection.

Trump’s actions and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution are beginning to catch the public eye. Serious questions are being raised by the media as to whether or not Trump’s actions on January 6, 2021, constitute an insurrection as defined by the final clause of the 14th Amendment (see below..

Trump’s actions as demonstrated by the four criminal charges alleged in the Fulton County Georgia indictment are raising serious questions about his ability to run for federal office. The third clause of the 14th Amendment reads as follows:

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.

Constitution of the united States as Amended

In a recent article by Joseph Ferguson and Thomas A. Durkin, legal scholars and Co-Director and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence respectively, at Loyola University Chicago, a compelling argument is presented regarding the disqualification of former President Donald Trump from holding office again. This argument is based on Trump’s actions, as highlighted in his Georgia indictment and other post-Civil War historical examples, coupled with the interpretation of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. This article delves into the key points raised by the authors, providing examples and insights to support their stance.

Trump’s Actions: The 14th Amendment and Disqualification

The crux of the authors’ argument lies in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that any person who has previously taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and has engaged in insurrection or rebellion against it or provided aid to its enemies shall be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. This provision, according to the authors, offers a basis for disqualifying Trump due to his actions leading up to and after the 2020 presidential election.

Trump’s Actions: Conservative Legal Scholarship and Disqualification

The authors highlight that even conservative legal scholars, such as William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, members of the Federalist Society, have published a paper arguing that Trump’s actions render him ineligible for office under the 14th Amendment. This cross-ideological agreement underlines the severity of Trump’s actions.

Trump’s Actions & Automatic Disqualification

The authors emphasize that no legal proceedings are required to enforce disqualification under the 14th Amendment. This concept of “self-execution” is reinforced by the interpretation of originalist theory, giving full weight to the text of the Constitution. This interpretation, endorsed by prominent constitutional scholars from both liberal and conservative backgrounds, bolsters the argument against Trump’s eligibility.

Historical Precedent: Post-Civil War Disqualifications

The authors draw parallels with post-Civil War history when the 14th Amendment was extensively used to prevent former Confederate leaders from holding federal office, even without formal convictions. They cite instances where these leaders were barred from office despite pardons or lack of convictions, underscoring the constitutional basis for disqualification.

Trump’s Actions, Georgia Indictment, and RICO Case

Ferguson and Durkin focus on the Georgia indictment against Trump, which they believe offers detailed evidence of Trump’s efforts to rebel against the Constitution, as well as his involvement in aiding and abetting others in doing so. They highlight that the indictment extensively outlines Trump’s manipulative tactics, fraudulent schemes, and attempts to subvert the 2020 Georgia presidential vote tally. This is especially relevant given the recent Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) case filed by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis against Trump and 18 others. The authors argue that this indictment strengthens the case for disqualification, as it underscores Trump’s actions against the Constitution and democratic processes.

Trump’s Actions: Georgia as a Bellwether for Disqualification

The authors suggest that state election authorities could play a pivotal role in enforcing the 14th Amendment’s disqualification. They propose that state officials could refuse Trump a place on the 2024 ballot based on his automatic disqualification under the 14th Amendment. The authors also point to historical examples, like the disqualification proceedings against former North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn, as legal precedents for using the 14th Amendment as grounds for disqualification.

Conclusion

Ferguson and Durkin’s article presents a comprehensive argument, supported by legal scholarship, historical precedent, and the specifics of Trump’s Georgia indictment, for disqualifying Trump from future presidential office based on his actions. The authors assert that the 14th Amendment’s self-executing disqualification mechanism, coupled with evidence from Trump’s actions and indictments, offer a robust basis for keeping him off the ballot. If the Georgia indictment and its subsequent legal proceedings progress as speculated, it could set a precedent that resonates across states, preventing Trump from running and potentially reshaping the future political landscape.

By Politics-as-Usual

Roger is a retired Professor of language and literacy. Over the past 15 years since his retirement, Roger has kept busy with reading, writing, and creating landscape photographs. In this time of National crisis, as Fascist ideas and policies are being introduced to the American people and ignored by the Mainstream Press, he decided to stand up and be counted as a Progressive American with some ideas that should be shared with as many people who care to read and/or participate in discusssions of these issues. He doesn't ask anyone to agree with his point of view, but if entering the conversation he demands civility. No conspiracy theories, no wild accusations, no threats, no disrespect will be tolerated. Roger monitors all comments and email communication. That is the only rule for entering the conversation. One may persuade, argue for a different point of view, or toss out something that has not been discussed so long as the tone remains part of a civil discussion. Only then can we find common ground and meaningful democratic change.

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