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A 14th Amendment Violation?

All respect for the office of the presidency aside, I assumed that the obvious and unadulterated decline of freedom and constitutional sovereignty, not to mention the efforts to curb the power of judicial review, spoke for itself.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice

As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.

Byron White, Supreme Court Justice                 

She [Justice Sandra Day O’Connor] rejected the [George] Bush administration’s claim that it could indefinitely detain a United States citizen. She upheld the fundamental principle of judicial review over the exercise of government power.

Patrick Leahy, United States Senator

Popularity makes no law invulnerable to invalidation. Americans accept judicial supervision of their democracy – judicial review of popular but possibly unconstitutional statutes – because they know that if the Constitution is truly to constitute the nation, it must trump some majority preferences.

George Will, American Author and Journalist

Introduction

A 14th Amendment Violation?

A 14TH Amendment Violation? This question is, perhaps, the most important issue facing the Supreme Court since Bush v. Gore in which the Court wrongly decided to select George W. Bush to be President of the United States by ending the Florida recount of the votes in that state.

It seems to me that asking the court to rule on whether or not former President Donald Trump violated the 3rd clause of the 14th amendment and is, therefore, unqualified to hold office in the United States.

What is important here is not the ideological makeup of the court itself, rather it is a question of personal action taken by Mr. Trump while trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It is a question of law and not of political party affiliation. A question of responsibility and not of ideology. If SCOTUS acts politically or ideologically then we may as well tear up the Constitution and install the authoritarian as the next President of the United States. Our democratic republic’s future hangs in the balance.

Former President Donald J. Trump’s role in the Capitol attack raises a critical question: Did he violate the 3rd clause of the 14th Amendment on January 6, 2021? The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) faces pressure to intervene and clarify this constitutional matter.

Trump’s Actions on Jan 6th, 2001: A 14TH Amendment Violation?

On January 6, 2021, as Congress convened to certify the Electoral College results, Trump’s call for his supporters to “fight like hell” marked a pivotal moment. The question emerges: Did this impassioned plea amount to an act of insurrection against the U.S. government?

14th Amendment’s 3rd Clause

A closer examination of the 14th Amendment’s 3rd clause reveals its clear intent—to bar individuals who engage in insurrection after swearing to uphold the Constitution from holding federal or state office. Critics argue that Trump’s actions align with this constitutional prohibition.

SCOTUS Intervention: A 14TH Amendment Violation?

With individual states like Colorado and Maine making disparate decisions on Trump’s eligibility, SCOTUS faces increasing pressure to provide a uniform ruling. The risk of a patchwork of decisions demands a swift resolution from the highest court to maintain electoral integrity.

Patchwork Decisions and Electoral Chaos

The possibility of Trump appearing on some state ballots and not others creates confusion among voters and election officials alike. A SCOTUS decision is imperative to prevent this chaos, especially with Super Tuesday approaching, necessitating the prompt printing of various ballots.

A 14TH Amendment Violation? Legal Challenges and Political Landscape

Trump’s legal battles extend beyond ballot eligibility, including federal and state charges related to the 2020 election. While some Democrats cheer the ballot exclusions, others argue voters, not courts, should decide. GOP figures, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, emphasize the potential violation of Trump’s due process rights.

Trump’s Defense and GOP Unity

Trump and his allies depict these decisions as anti-democratic and politically motivated. GOP voices argue that voters, not unelected judges, should determine the party’s standard-bearer. This sentiment reinforces unity within the Republican Party.

SCOTUS’s Dilemma: A 14TH Amendment Violation?

The 6-3 conservative majority on the court introduces an element of uncertainty. The justices must grapple with the intricate task of interpreting the 14th Amendment’s 3rd clause, considering the gravity of Trump’s actions on January 6 and their potential implications.

Avoiding Political Quagmire

SCOTUS may seek a clean resolution to avoid delving into the specifics of Trump’s state of mind on January 6. The justices must decide if the 14th Amendment applies to Trump and, if so, whether his actions constituted insurrection. Navigating these complex issues without entangling the court in a political quagmire is a paramount concern.

SCOTUS’s Role in Upholding Democracy: A 14TH Amendment Violation?

The role of SCOTUS transcends partisan politics; it is the guardian of constitutional principles. Given the severity of the allegations against Trump, the court’s intervention becomes crucial in upholding the democratic fabric of the nation.

Potential Ramifications for Democracy

A SCOTUS decision holds significant consequences for the democratic process. Suppose the court determines that Trump’s actions indeed violate the 14th Amendment. In that case, it sets a precedent for accountability, reinforcing the principle that no individual, regardless of their position, is above the law.

A 14TH Amendment Violation? The Urgency of a Unified Ruling

The urgency lies in addressing Trump’s eligibility and providing a unified and definitive ruling. The longer this issue lingers, the more uncertainty prevails, eroding public trust in the electoral process.

Conclusion

The SCOTUS dilemma underscores the urgency of resolving Trump’s eligibility uniformly. Whether he violated the 14th Amendment on January 6th is a pivotal constitutional question that demands prompt and decisive action from the highest court. The potential ramifications for electoral processes and the interpretation of constitutional clauses make this a crucial moment for the nation’s highest judicial body, emphasizing its role as the guardian of democracy and the rule of law.

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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