Member of Congress calls 14th Amendment challenges to Trump ‘idiocy’

By Bob Unruh

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at the 450th mile of the new border wall Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, near the Texas Mexico border. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

As part of the Democrats’ multipronged “lawfare” against President Trump to try to prevent him from winning the 2024 presidential election, they are suing in multiple states to keep him from the ballot.

They claim that he’s an “insurrectionist” and therefore, by the 14th Amendment, barred from public office.

That claim comes from their own radical description of the riot that happened on Jan. 6, 2021, as an “insurrection.” They claim those protesters who got out of hand and rioted, breaking windows and doors at the Capitol and vandalizing some rooms, actually were in it to take over the government, take control of the military, and install a new government across America.

The 14th Amendment is a post-Civil War provision addressing those who actively participated in an insurrection against the government, but legal expert Hans von Spakovsky has explained how it’s no longer applicable.

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Democrat prosecutors are also ramping up multiple other cases against Trump, even setting trials for key 2024 election dates, such as Super Tuesday and the like.

The lawfare campaign now even has reached into Wyoming, which has supported GOP candidates for, well, a long time.

But a report from Cowboy State Daily explains the state’s lone member of the U.S. House, Rep. Harriet Hageman, is blasting the case pursued by a “Laramie lawyer” as “idiocy.”

The case against Trump was filed by Tim Newcomb in Albany County District Court, which Hageman also described as “tyrannical.”

“These boneheaded attempts to keep President Trump off the ballot have sadly made their way to my state of Wyoming,” said Hageman. “The qualifications to run for president and senator are spelled out quite clearly in our founding document, and it doesn’t say anything about retired lawyers from Laramie having a say in the matter at all.”

She said the lawsuit is “unconstitutional idiocy.”

And she accused the plaintiff of “election interference.”

Multiple such cases have been filed against Trump, and multiple decisions in recent weeks have rejected the claims, even in leftist states like Minnesota.

The Supreme Court even has declined a request already to sound off on the fight.

Newcomb, responding to Hageman’s comments, accused the member of Congress of not having read the Constitution.

In an earlier commentary, von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, former Federal Election Commission member, and former counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, said the 14t Amendment claims are valueless.

“The judges in those cases should understand that the text, history, and application of the 14th Amendment make it clear that they have no legal authority” to keep Trump from the ballot, he explained.

Those bringing the complaints “are trying to argue that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, the disqualification clause, prevents him from being president even if he is elected, so he should be removed from the ballot by state election officials.”

That constitutional provision states: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector for President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States … who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or 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 … . But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

The commentary points out problems with the “lawfare” battle for Democrats.

First, the section “only applies to individuals who were previously a ‘member of Congress,’ an ‘officer of the United States,’ or a state official,” he said. But Trump has never been any of those.

“He has never held state office or been a U.S. senator or representative, and the U.S. Supreme Court held in 1888 in U.S. v. Mouat that ‘officers’ are only those individuals who are appointed to positions within the federal government,” he explained.

The president is not an “officer” for that section.

Further, he noted, no federal court has convicted Trump of “insurrection or rebellion.”

Even when Democrats in the House, without evidence or testimony, accused Trump of “incitement to insurrection,” he was acquitted in the Senate.

Finally, he explained, one federal court already has adopted the argument that the provision no longer exists.

He said all of the cases against Trump “are ignoring the final sentence in Section 3, which is a unique provision found in no other amendment to the Constitution. It allows Congress to remove the disqualification clause ‘by a vote of two-thirds of each House.'”

Congress did just that with the Amnesty Act of 1872, stating that the “political disabilities” found in Section 3 “are hereby removed from all persons whomsoever” except for members of the 36th and 37th Congresses and certain other military and foreign officials.

Then in 1898 Congress removed even those applications, he said.

Von Spakovsky said, “In short, these anti-Trump ballot challenges are lawfare at its worst, trying to use the law and the courts as a political weapon.”

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