Ban On Insurrectionists Running For Office Unveiled In Legislative Push

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A bill is up for consideration in Connecticut that, if enacted, would put new restrictions in place covering individuals who have been involved in an insurrection like the violence seen on January 6 under Trump’s inspiration.

The legislation, if approved and made law, would block these individuals from holding a slew of government offices — or even running for key positions — in the state of Connecticut. The idea mirrors what’s seen in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which blocks individuals from holding public office under circumstances including that they went back on an oath to uphold that document and instead engaged in rebellion. If Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) decided to try and take specific steps to implement her idea of a so-called national divorce, how far could she go before she’d end up covered by those very limits and summarily barred from returning to her post in Congress? Of course, some already challenged her eligibility on the basis of her ties to the violence seen at the Capitol on January 6. She’s been among those helping spread lies about the 2020 election.

Back in Connecticut, the bill that’s been proposed, which has the Democrat leading that state’s Senate behind it, would “bar individuals convicted of certain crimes related to the January 6 insurrection, or any future insurrection, from being a candidate for or holding office in the state of Connecticut or being employed by the state or any of its political subdivisions,” a letter from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) explained. The bill itself isn’t very long. A past report from the Associated Press noted that state Sen. Bob Duff (D), the Senate Majority Leader backing the proposal, said “he wants the legislation eventually to bar them from holding state or municipal jobs” — and it seems that precise ban is now included.

There is something else, though, that CREW is pushing to be removed: a restriction on individuals convicted of covered crimes casting ballots at all. The bill, in an already released form, said individuals guilty of those crimes shall “forfeit such person’s right to be an elector and such person’s privileges as an elector,” but CREW said they’re “strongly opposed to efforts to disenfranchise any citizens, including felons.” The organization also recommended narrowing a portion of the proposal indicating anybody convicted of any felony offense related to the others specifically noted, like sedition, would also be covered. In theory, lacking specifics could lead to individuals perhaps becoming the victim of overzealous law enforcement if the ban applies to people guilty of any felony connectable to that political violence.

Still, CREW pushed in that letter, which was signed by the organization’s president, for the proposed bill to move forward. It would be yet another front on which Democrats in positions of state power can deal with some of the gaps in policy left by the difficulties in actually enacting certain changes in Congress, although the relevance of moves like substantially increasing the number of supporters required for objections to electoral votes shouldn’t be discounted.