A group of Democrats claims to be studying the possibility of using a section of the 14th Amendment to prevent Trump from running for election in 2024.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution states that ‘no person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President… who, having previously taken an oath… shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.’
In other words, the first requirement is to find Trump guilty of the alleged ‘insurrection’ to use Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and given that so far with an impeachment in which he was acquitted of such charges, it is hard to understand what has changed since then as to cause Democrats to tout such an idea.
Among the Democratic representatives who, according to The Hill, have proposed the idea are Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and Steve Cohen (D-TN).
Laurence Tribe, a constitutional expert at Harvard Law School, says some members of Congress have contacted him for his advice on how to enforce Section 3 to prevent Trump from running in the election.
According to Tribe, that end would require Congress to establish a neutral investigative body to determine whether Trump participated in the insurrection or assign that investigative role to a federal court.
Since Congress has already impeached Trump for inciting the ‘insurrection,’ which was investigated and voted on based on the evidence, starting the same process again, with the same members in Congress, does not seem likely to result in anything different.
Some experts believe that Congress, with a simple majority in both chambers, could vote on its own and decide that Trump did participate in an insurrection, enabling Democrats to invalidate a possible Trump candidacy using Section 3, and a supermajority vote would be required to reverse the sanction.
However, that scenario could change after the midterm elections in November of this year. Guided by the most recent polls, Republicans could regain the majority in the House and Senate.
Last year, after Trump was acquitted in the second impeachment trial even though he was no longer serving, Rep. Raskin, a former constitutional law professor, told reporters that the constitutional purpose is clear, to keep people exactly like Donald Trump and other traitors to the union from holding public office,’ but that, to enforce it, more study of the issue was needed.
In other words, there are no clear paths as to how to carry this out.
For Tribe, the key point lies in what the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 incidents determines whether Trump was involved in an ‘insurrection’ and from that is that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment could only begin to be discussed.
“Once that committee makes clear, as I trust it will, that what took place was indeed an insurrection that triggers Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and that supports criminal prosecution by the DOJ of those responsible, it is difficult to imagine this not becoming a logical next step,” Tribe said.
The news comes at a time when polls favor the former president by considerable margins.
According to Breitbart, Trump trails Biden by 8 points in a potential presidential race. At the same time, Trump has nearly 60 percent of the Republican vote, and 58 percent of Republicans believe Biden was not legitimately elected.