Liberals, anti-Trump Republicans float effort to kick Trump off the ballot

 August 22, 2023

Even as they cheer for Donald Trump to be thrown in prison, leftists and their fellow travelers in the GOP are pushing a new legal scheme to kick Joe Biden's top rival off the ballot in 2024.

The effort revolves around the Fourteenth Amendment and a far-fetched legal theory that disqualifies "insurrectionists" from holding public office.

Push to disqualify Trump

The theory is being pushed by anti-Trump conservatives and veterans of the "#Resistance" such as Harvard professor Laurence Tribe, who co-authored an article in liberal rag The Atlantic pushing the argument with conservative legal scholar Michael J. Luttig.

"The former president's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and the resulting attack on the U.S. Capitol, place him squarely within the ambit of the disqualification clause, and he is, therefore, ineligible to serve as president ever again," they wrote.

Two law professors from the conservative Federalist Society, William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, also pushed the argument in an article for University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Republican Asa Hutchinson, a longshot candidate in the 2024 primary, invoked the "insurrection" theory during a CNN interview this weekend.

Another bogus scheme

There's a glaring problem with the theory: Trump has not been convicted, or even formally accused, of insurrection in any of the four criminal cases he is facing - including the case in Washington that is ostensibly about January 6th.

In that case, Trump faces charges of conspiring to "overturn" the 2020 election, but prosecutor Jack Smith falls short of claiming Trump engaged in insurrection, sedition, or anything of the kind.

"The reason" Trump wasn't charged with incitement "is obvious," conservative law professor Jonathan Turley wrote in a column.

"The evidence and constitutional standards would not have supported a charge of incitement or insurrection," he wrote.

Turley dismissed the 14th Amendment theory as a "legal urban legend," arguing there is nothing to clearly distinguish January 6th from previous efforts by Democrats to challenge election results.

"That leaves us with the argument that any effort to stop a constitutional process is akin to an insurrection or rebellion under the 14th Amendment. If that were the standard, any protests — including the anti-Trump protests and the certification challenges to electoral votes in 2016 — could also be cited as disqualifying," he wrote.

Saving democracy?

Trump's enemies have reason to be worried: a conviction would not bar Trump from holding office, and, despite their unprecedented efforts to jail Trump, he is still tied with or even surpassing Biden in the polls.

But disqualifying Trump from the ballot would remove any chance that the American people might, despite the wishes of Democrats and Never Trumpers, choose Trump to be their president again.

Imagine that? Letting the people choose their own leaders.

Democrats want to "save democracy" by having their political opponent jailed or even removed from the ballot altogether. This thuggish scheme must not succeed, or America as we know it is finished.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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