Perspectives on the Trump 14th Amendment case

  • Colorado Supreme Court removes Trump from state’s ballot - Axios
  • Colorado Supreme Court: Donald Trump is an insurrectionist and must be removed from the 2024 ballot - Current
  • Why 14th Amendment bars Trump from office: A constitutional law scholar explains principle behind Colorado Supreme Court ruling - The Conversation
  • Colorado Supreme Court Rules Trump Ineligible for 2024 Ballot - National Review
  • Trump’s ballot battle: States that could follow Colorado’s lead and try to block former president in 2024 - Washington Examiner

Discussion

I was trying to think of a good metaphor for the situations, but ‘elephant in the room’ is so overused. Rotting corpse in the room?

What I mean is that though the legal question is important, it’s a little complicated, and there’s something really simple and huge that everyone should be giving more attention to—the rotting corpse, vs., say, the nonfunctioning wifi. Priorities, folks. The man is disqualified because of what he has done (and continues to do), not because of a debatable legal question.

There’s legal, then there’s right and wrong, wise and foolish, good and evil. Of course we want ‘legal’ to correlate with right, wise, and good, but the relationship is often a pretty loose correlation. And the right, wise, and good question is more basic and prior to the legal questions.

On the legal question, though, we could do worse than to toughen expectations of U.S. Presidents when it’s time to leave office. I can’t say it would grieve me to see SCOTUS uphold (maybe ‘expand’) the 14th amendment on that point.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

I'm not a Trump fan, but I believe SCOTUS will rightly overrule Colorado's Supreme Court on this decision. You can't kick someone off the ballot just because a majority of (?) people consider him to be an insurrectionist or to have incited insurrection. Due process must be followed. There should be a finding of guilt legally before he is barred.

That said, I do believe Trump is disqualified to serve as President, and his recent comments and actions continue to demonstrate that.

I think the 14th amendment does apply to presidents but Trump has not been found guilty in any sort of criminal proceedings in which he was charged with insurrection, nor was he convicted of high crimes or misdemeanors at his impeachments. It seems that these Colorado courts have declared him guilty without due process.

I agree with Andy and T Howard on the due process claim. I think the more interesting question (at least for me), assuming the Supreme Court takes up the appeal, will be if they address only the due process issue of being barred without a conviction/finding of guilt in this particular case, or if they decide to address the broader issue of the court’s reasoning on the 14th amendment apart from the question of Trump’s actual guilt. Sometimes they go to a lot of trouble to decide the smallest possible part of a case to avoid setting any larger precedents.

Dave Barnhart

Dershowitz on Colorado: 'Never Seen a Decision That's So Anti-Democratic,' 'Absurd'

From this article:

"In the 60 years I've been practicing and teaching law, I've never seen a decision that's so anti-democratic and so unconstitutional; it is absurd," Dershowitz told co-hosts Emma Rechenberg and Jon Glasgow. "The idea that the 14th Amendment was supposed to substitute for the impeachment provision, carefully drafted by the framers, is wrong."

Dershowitz is a "constitutional expert and legal scholar," a Democrat, and no fan of Trump.

I'll add agreement with the due process claim. That is, no court has convicted Trump of sedition.

But in these days, it seems like a minor hurdle to get some corrupt judges to give you whatever "conviction" is needed.

I'm not a Trump fan, but I believe SCOTUS will rightly overrule Colorado's Supreme Court on this decision. You can't kick someone off the ballot just because a majority of (?) people consider him to be an insurrectionist or to have incited insurrection. Due process must be followed. There should be a finding of guilt legally before he is barred.

I see in the Constitution that a citizen has to be a resident of the US for 14 years to run for president. If there is a dispute regarding that timing, who is responsible for determining whether residency has actually happened? I don't think it would be each individual state having to make that determination. I'm assuming it would have to be a federal court, but I don't know if it would have to go all the way to the Supreme Court. I suppose it would if the lower court's decision was further challenged.

If the US Supreme Court kicked Trump off the ballot by using the exact same reasoning as the Colorado Supreme Court to kick Trump off the ballot, would that then be a "finding of guilt legally" since it IS a court making the decision?

Article II, Section 1, Clause 5:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

The residency question would most likely need to be resolved at the federal level. The court has already decided that it doesn't mean you have to physically reside within the United States. You qualify if you've lived on a military base or embassy in a foreign country.

Due process must be followed. Period. 5th and 14th Amendments

"shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same". 14th Amendment

The Supreme Court usually prefers narrow rulings. Trump has not received due process concerning charges of insurrection. Personal opinion that he has "engaged in insurrection" is irrelevant. The Colorado Court will be overturned/vacated.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

I find it humorous, as Trump tried excluding electors because he believed their was fraud despite a lack of any due process. It seems no one cares about that anymore on either side of the fence.

T Howard wrote:

I'm not a Trump fan, but I believe SCOTUS will rightly overrule Colorado's Supreme Court on this decision. You can't kick someone off the ballot just because a majority of (?) people consider him to be an insurrectionist or to have incited insurrection. Due process must be followed. There should be a finding of guilt legally before he is barred.

That said, I do believe Trump is disqualified to serve as President, and his recent comments and actions continue to demonstrate that.

Good points although many would agree with the last statement above, others would not. That is why we have elections. Let the voters decide. Don't allow those in power to interfere with elections and do not vote more than once because you think the other person running would be so dangerous.

Many are very concerned about Trump, but others are rightfully just as concerned about Biden. Those concerns do not warrant setting aside the rule of law. I think we are all bothered by Trump suggesting that there may times to set aside the Constitution. Sadly, while Trump as suggested doing that, Biden and so many others have repeated done just that. Our concerns about how dangerous a leader is should not give us an excuse to ignore the law. Regardless who we think should have been elected for the last president, our country has been in turmoil because too many election laws were ignored in 2020.

I fear that too many do not want to look into violations of election law because of an end justifies the means attitude. That is not healthy and such an approach could tear down our republic.

According to the Brookings Institute 388 judicial decisions were made around violations of election law. Trump's team filed 62 cases, and all but 1 were lost. This was from late 2021 and there have thus been more cases, but much harder to track down the data. The Ohio State University School of Law has a much more robust ongoing database. I believe the facts have clearly shown that there is much looking into the violations of election law. The widespread conspiracy has been found at all, and that small pockets of violations that have typically occurred over the years is all that took place. I think it is conspiratorial to continue to think there is some large violation of election law that needs to continue to be looked into. Even the far right Republicans in Congress have mostly given up on this narrative.

Dgszweda, the complaints brought by Trump were just a small percentage of the concerns about the elections. I said at the time that a lot of the things that Trump and many of those closest to him were going after were a distraction from other more serious election issues. At the same time some (it might have even been you) were suggesting that there were no problems with the election.

Thankfully there was recently an article that tabulated the different election lawsuits that have made it through the courts concerning the 2020 election. BOTH Democrats/left leaning plaintiffs and Republicans/right leaning plaintiffs brought suit and so far Republicans/right leaning have won 24% of their suits while Democrats/left leaning have only won 18%. Further the Democrats brought more cases to court than the Republicans did. Does that mean that you will now start calling those Democrats conspiracy theorists?

Here is a link to more info: 2020 election lawsuits brought by Republicans more likely to win than Democrat cases, data shows | Just The News

Here is another article that shows that a federal judge is looking into the election machines: Federal Judge Makes Major Decision On Voting Machines (msn.com)

I'm glad that the due process question is being discussed here. After seeing the headlines, I read my NY Times email covering the situation, and they focused on the question of whether or not the 14th amendment should apply to the president. It was a question of, "Did the amendment intend to constrain democracy? If the people want to vote for an officer of the government, should their vote trump the amendment, or the amendment trump their vote?" (No pun intended.)

Without much research, the amendment seems to apply to anyone, president included; and the whole point of the constitution is that it expresses the considered opinion of the people in such a way that it constrains the day-to-day operations of democracy.

But the NY Times (at least where I read) didn't touch the question, "Is Trump guilty?" Surely that's not something a state supreme court would decide. So they've made a legal decision but assumed the facts. Typically, by the time something makes it to a supreme court, the facts have been established by lower courts, and then the court can issue a legal opinion based on established facts.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA