Trump’s legal battles are piling up: in Washington, Georgia, New York — the list goes on. But even if all of those cases somehow work out in his favor, advocates say a new legal challenge could still sideline him.

Separate from the criminal cases, over the past few weeks a growing body of conservative scholars have raised the constitutional argument that Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election make him ineligible to hold federal office ever again.

Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, says that a public official is not eligible to assume public office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States, or had “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” unless they are granted amnesty by a two-thirds vote of Congress.

The disqualification clause operates independently of any such criminal proceedings and, indeed, also independently of impeachment proceedings and of congressional legislation. The clause was designed to operate directly and immediately upon those who betray their oaths to the Constitution, whether by taking up arms to overturn our government or by waging war on our government by attempting to overturn a presidential election through a bloodless coup.

Bottom line: Trump should never be allowed to hold a government position ever again. Thankfully there are a good number of extremely intelligent and knowledgeable people who are doing just that by holding Trump accountable for his betrayal of his oath to the Constitution.


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