Saving democracy….

…by killing it? Really?

Colorado Supreme Court says Trump is ineligible to run again

This is a tough case. The section of the Constitution’s 14th amendment cited by the Colorado Supreme Court in justifying their decisions was designed to prevent those who previously served the United States but then served the confederacy from once again holding U.S. office. It reads in part:

Section 3
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

Section 5
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

The question really is this: What due process is required to conclude that a prior “officer of the United States … engaged in insurrection or rebellion”? Has Congress passed “…appropriate legislation…” to determine the required due process? Or was their intent to leave this determination to partisan, elected officials of the individual states – like the Colorado Supreme Court? Can you image the political “nuclear winter” that will follow if the Colorado Supreme Court ruling stands?

I am not a lawyer, but my guess is that the unstated right to participate in our government (“…government of the people, by the people, for the people…”) is a right that should not so lightly be curtailed. It is my belief that either proof of service with an entity at war with the United States (such as holding office under the Confederacy – what this provision was meant to address) or a conviction under U.S. law (or impeachment proceedings) for insurrection or rebellion should be required to deprive one of this right.

It is partisan attacks such as this that are the true danger to our democracy. The power must remain with the people via their right to vote for the candidate of their choice – not with those politicians who wield the law as a dull scythe to unjustly cut down their opponents.

PS: If you’re interested, a good overview of both sides of the Trump insurrection argument can be found here:

2023 National Lawyers Convention: Insurrection & the 14th Amendment

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