The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is well-known for its guarantee of equal protection under the law. However, there is a lesser-known section of this amendment that is particularly relevant today. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits any public official who has participated in an insurrection from holding office.
The purpose of this provision was to prevent former officials who joined the Confederacy during the Civil War from returning to office without Congressional approval. This section requires a waiver or exemption from Congress in order for such officials to be eligible for office again.
Gerard Magliocca, a law professor at Indiana University, explains that this provision could potentially be used to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president. If Trump is found to have incited or participated in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, it could be argued that he falls under the scope of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
Magliocca suggests that legal reasoning may come into conflict with political reality in this situation. Determining whether Trump’s actions meet the criteria for an insurrection would require a thorough investigation and legal analysis. However, the political implications of such a determination are significant, as it would prevent Trump from holding any elected office in the future.
It is worth noting that this issue is still highly debated, and experts have differing opinions on its applicability to the current situation. Michael McConnell, a professor at Stanford Law School, emphasizes that the 14th Amendment was intended to address issues related to the Civil War and its aftermath, and that applying it to present-day circumstances may be a stretch.
Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), also weighs in on the discussion. While he acknowledges that the 14th Amendment could be a potential avenue to prevent Trump from returning to office, Bookbinder emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive investigation to determine the facts surrounding his involvement in the events of January 6.
In conclusion, the 14th Amendment’s Section 3 could possibly play a role in preventing Donald Trump from becoming president again if he is found to have participated in an insurrection. However, the legal reasoning and political implications of such a determination are complex and require further examination.