All the current talk of Donald Trump running again in 2024 assumes that he’s eligible to serve as president if reelected. He’s not, or at least there’s a strong argument that he isn’t.
In fairness to America’s voters, this argument ought to be resolved conclusively in court long before voters cast their ballots in 2024—and not on January 6, 2025, when Congress next meets to count electoral votes.
Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly bars from the presidency, as well as any other “office, civil or military, under the United States” anyone who “having previously taken an oath … as an officer of the United States … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection … against the same.” Given all that we now know about Trump’s role in fomenting the insurrection at the Capitol this past January 6, including the extent to which he was pushing Vice President Pence to act upon the Eastman memo—and urging the crowd on January 6 to pressure Pence to repudiate the constitutionally proper electoral votes cast for Joe Biden—there’s already a powerful case to be made that Trump “engaged in insurrection” within the meaning of this constitutional clause, thereby making Trump ineligible to be inaugurated again as president on January 20, 2025. This ineligibility argument may grow even stronger after the House select committee completes its ongoing investigation.Continue reading Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment and January 6, 2025: the need for legislation now