A Conservative Case Emerges to Disqualify Trump for His Role on Jan. 6

5/5 - (10 votes)

In a lengthy article to be published in The University of Pennsylvania Law Review next year, two prominent conservative law professors, William Baude of the University of Chicago and Michael Stokes Paulsen of the University of St. Thomas, have concluded that former President Donald J. Trump is ineligible to hold government office under a provision of the Constitution. This provision prohibits individuals who have engaged in an insurrection from holding office. The professors, who are members of the conservative legal group the Federalist Society, conducted a year-long study to arrive at their findings.

Initially uncertain of the answer, the professors delved deeper into the question and found that there is “abundant evidence” that Mr. Trump engaged in an insurrection. This included his attempts to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election, fraudulent and intimidating actions to alter vote counts, endorsing false electors, pressuring the vice president to violate the Constitution, calling for the march on the Capitol, and remaining silent during the attack itself.

Baude summarized the article’s conclusion, stating that “Donald Trump cannot be president… unless two-thirds of Congress decides to grant him amnesty for his conduct on Jan. 6.”

The article’s analysis was praised as a “tour de force” by Steven G. Calabresi, a founder of the Federalist Society. However, James Bopp Jr., a lawyer who has represented House members faced with challenges under the provision, criticized the authors’ broad interpretation of it, calling it historically inaccurate.

The provision in question is Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was adopted after the Civil War. It prohibits individuals who have engaged in insurrection from holding office, unless Congress removes the prohibition with a two-thirds vote in each House.

The professors conducted a thorough study of the historical evidence, using the methodology of originalism, to determine the provision’s meaning. They concluded that nearly all the evidence pointed towards a broad understanding of insurrection and rebellion, as well as a broad understanding of conduct that constitutes engagement, assistance, or aid to such movements. According to their analysis, Trump’s actions fell within the original meaning of the terms used in Section 3.

Although the provision was originally intended to address the aftermath of the Civil War, the article argued that its language continues to have force, as demonstrated by previous amnesties granted by Congress. The authors emphasized that Section 3’s disqualification rule must be followed by anyone responsible for determining an individual’s eligibility for office, including election administrators.

The professors noted that this could potentially become a lawsuit and reach the Supreme Court for a final decision. For example, Trump may be ineligible to appear on the ballot, and secretaries of state who refuse to print ballots without his name could be sued.

It should be noted that the authors made a clear distinction between their analysis regarding Trump’s eligibility to hold office and the ongoing criminal investigation into his alleged conspiracy to subvert the 2020 election.

Overall, the article presents a compelling argument that Donald Trump is ineligible to hold government office under the Constitution’s insurrection provision, raising important constitutional questions that may ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.

About William White

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *