Laws To Block Insurrectionists From Holding Office Urgently Pushed

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The government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is throwing its rhetorical weight behind a pair of legislative proposals in the Northeast.

One in New York and the other in Connecticut, the measures, if imposed, would put new restrictions on individuals involved in insurrection holding elected office — or employment with a range of authorities — in those locales. In general, a communications official at CREW argued that the restrictions on such individuals already found in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution aren’t sufficiently sweeping, in part because those measures arguably only cover individuals who joined that kind of attempted coup or the like after an earlier oath in defense of the Constitution. In other words, so-called traitors — but what about the many individuals who joined the Capitol mob and may seek elected office but had never before taken any such oath?

“The framers of the post-Civil War Amendments to the U.S. Constitution understood the fundamental truth that those who seek to overthrow the government should not be entrusted to hold positions of power within that government,” legislative testimony from press secretary Jenna Grande said. She added: “Protecting our democracy from those who wish to overthrow it is not a theoretical concern. To date, the Department of Justice has brought criminal charges against over 900 individuals who participated in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol… The January 6th insurrection was a shameful day for our nation. The fact that individuals who participated in that attack continue to serve in government throughout the country represents an acute threat to the future vitality of our democracy.”

Among those who were prominently in and around the Capitol mob are Republicans who recently ran for governor in Michigan and Pennsylvania, besides a then-state legislator in West Virginia, a then-county commissioner from New Mexico, and others. It doesn’t seem like either measure would necessarily directly affect Trump’s eligibility for the ballot, since it’s roles in the respective states that are at issue — although there’s also been talk of legal challenges to Trump getting on the ballot under those federal Constitutional provisions.