In a portion of a discussion on CNN later highlighted on the Congressman’s X (Twitter) account, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) presented the idea that judicially disqualifying Trump from the ballot on account of argued connections to the Capitol violence of early 2021 would, in fact, further the interests of democracy.
That contrasts with the idea that blocking Trump from the ballot would effectively disenfranchise those who would vote for him. Disenfranchisement refers to effectively forcing those affected from the political process. However, as Raskin also noted, a wide variety of other requirements also apply to potentially holding office, so there’s an arguable precedent for some strict restrictions without those measures necessarily constituting direct disenfranchisement.
The arguments were made against Trump in a challenge to his eligibility for office on the basis of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that recently culminated in oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. The amendment imposes a block on individuals who previously took an oath of office and then engaged in insurrection, and multiple courts in Colorado, where the case originated, already concluded that Trump did so through incitement of the Capitol attack.
“They saw the threat to democracy coming from politicians who get into office, swear their oath of office, and then try to overthrow the government,” Raskin said, talking about those who formulated the 14th Amendment. “So they saw this disqualification of a tiny number of people as upholding democracy, not discrediting it.”
Separately, a three-judge panel on a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., recently rejected arguments from Trump of wide-ranging legal protections that per the Trump team should outright block a criminal case from Special Counsel Jack Smith. Some questioned whether the Supreme Court would even take up further appeals from Trump rather than just leaving the appeals court’s decisions in place, effectively leaving the District Court proceedings in the case to start up again on the march towards trial.
Disqualifying Trump from office under Section III of the 14th Amendment doesn’t undermine democracy—insurrection does that.
The Framers of the 14th Amendment sought to protect democracy against violent attack—and our Supreme Court should too. pic.twitter.com/XiKLb0swV8
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) February 9, 2024