Former President Donald Trump could be banned from ever holding public office again if Democratic Party leaders get their way.
According to a report by The Hill, top Democratic officials are working behind the scenes to forever bar Trump from holding — or even running — for office as a response to the January 6th Capitol Riot in 2021.
Quietly, Democrats are exploring a post-Civil War amendment to the Constitution that would strip Trump of eligibility for office of any position, from the presidency all the way to the Florida state senate.
Insiders say over a dozen Democratic officials, along with constitutional scholars, have privately discussed invoking Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which barred former Confederate officials from seeking office after the end of the Civil War.
Section 3 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. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
As the anniversary of the Jan. 6th Capitol Hill riot neared, talk of invoking the Amendment against Trump has intensified.
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“If anything, the idea has waxed and waned,” said Laurence Tribe, a constitutional expert at Harvard Law School. Tribe told The Hill he has consulted by a number of Democratic officials about the Amendment.
“I hear it being raised with considerable frequency these days both by media commentators and by members of Congress and their staffs, some of whom have sought my advice on how to implement Section 3.”
According to the report, these aren’t fringe Democratic leaders discussing such a drastic plan. Those who have talked about using the Consitution to ban Trump from public office include Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-M.D., who is on the Jan. 6 House Select Committee, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-F.L.
And it’s is far from idle chatter among these Democratic politicians. In fact, Wasserman-Schultz — a close political ally of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — has been outspoken about her desire to forever bar Trump from ever being elected again.
“I continue to explore all legal paths to ensure that the people who tried to subvert our democracy are not in charge of it,” Wasserman-Schultz reportedly told The Hill.
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The Democratic Party could theoretically pull it off with their current narrow majority in the House and Senate, some experts argue.
Others say it is not so simple.
“Some scholars believe that Congress, by a simple majority in both chambers, could act on its own to find Trump engaged in insurrection, which would implicate the constitutional provision. Under the 14th Amendment, restoring Trump’s eligibility would then require a supermajority vote,” The Hill reported.
However, Tribe said a neutral fact-finding committee would be first needed to prove Trump engaged in insurrection or have a ruling from a federal court.
Tribe warns that Democrats could argue in court that the current Jan. 6 Select House Committee, despite being partisan, could provide sufficient proof — and win.
“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 DOJ of those responsible, it is difficult to imagine this not becoming a logical next step,” Tribe said.
The Horn editorial team