Watchdog Bulldozes Trump’s Attempt To Bypass 14th Amendment Claims

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The talk of potentially using provisions of the 14th Amendment to block former President Donald Trump from the ballot — or some ballots — in 2024 has reached Trump himself.

Predictably, he has derided the endeavor, which now has supporters both conservative and liberal, besides prominent political voices like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who’s now running for Senate. “Almost all legal scholars,” the former president claimed, have poured rhetorical cold water on the idea — which is not accurate. Former Judge J. Michael Luttig is known as an established legal scholar, and he’s among those pushing the disqualification idea, and the list goes on.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog organization, is also among the interests that have pushed the idea. “Trump is obviously wrong here,” CREW recently posted on X (formerly Twitter) in response to that claim from Trump. “About pretty much everything. But it does betray the fact that even he knows he’s disqualified under the 14th Amendment. Lashing out like this is what he does when he has no other move.”

The portion of the U.S. Constitution under discussion blocks you from holding office if you were involved in insurrection or provided what’s termed aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States after taking an oath to defend the Constitution, such as Trump took at his inauguration held in 2017. The amendment was used in a successful legal challenge against the eligibility for office of a county commissioner in New Mexico who joined January 6 crowds on the ground in D.C.

With Trump, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, recently spoke on MSNBC to some of the lingering issues in potentially implementing the restrictions believed by some to apply to Trump, though she characterized the arguments for blocking Trump as strong. She mentioned, for instance, the question of specifically defining aid and comfort and involvement in insurrection as outlined in that amendment, also questioning how to ensure principles of due process were upheld. Benson, who won another term last year, definitely didn’t close the rhetorical door on leaving Trump off the ballot, though she expected input from the courts.