Conservative scholars are making the case that the Constitution disqualifies Donald Trump from public office. Law professors William Baude and Michael Paulsen have postulated that Trump is ineligible for serving due to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
Conservative legal scholarsLaurence Tribe and J. Michael Luttig have also advocated for Trump’s disqualification.
Section 3 bars from office any government official who takes an oath to defend the Constitution and then engages in or aids an insurrection against the United States. Only a two-thirds majority of the House and Senate can vote to remove such restriction.
All three branches of government have deemed Trump as a central figure in the Jan. 6 insurrection. He has also been indicted for election interference and his role in the insurrection. Section 3 requires no prior criminal convictions for the disqualification to apply. It is an enforceable part of the Constitution, not limited to the Civil War.
There is no additional action by Congress needed to enforce Section 3. Every state or federal official who judges qualifications should determine who can be on the ballot.
Former President Richard Nixon had the presence of mind to resign when confronted by GOP senators who advised him that he would be impeached for his involvement in Watergate.
The downside was that the public perception of government integrity has been severely damaged.
By Don Hiddleson, Millcreek, Utah