Wednesday, January 06, 2021


Gerard N. Magliocca

I find very interesting the use of the word "insurrection" to describe what occurred today at the Capitol. For example, Senator Romney issued a statement stating that today was "an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States." Senator McConnell described today as a "failed insurrection."

If so, then Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment might apply to President Trump. People 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 or rebellion against the same" are ineligible to serve in a variety of federal and state offices. If President Trump is "an officer of the United States" and he did incite an insurrection against the United States, then he might well be ineligible under Section Three.

Granted, this is just an academic point for now. Just because some members of Congress describe what occurred today as an insurrection does not that mean that it is one. And maybe incitement does not count. And so on. If the President runs again in 2024, though, someone is bound to claim that he cannot serve.   


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