Expect to soon hear a lot about a previously obscure "insurrection" clause in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution as we approach midterm elections and leading into the 2024 presidential contest.
The clause was adopted as a compromise following Senate rejection of an earlier proposal to bar ex-Confederates from voting until 1870, stating:
"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."
And there is more. The proviso adds a tall hurdle, which will require lots of help from never-Trumper Republican allies and would-be competitors:
"But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability."
Yes, this has a whole lot to do with the real purpose and goal behind the sham Jan. 6 Capitol riot show trials aimed at making Donald Trump ineligible for another run.
Even if successful, however — and that is doubtful — it's a very dangerous game for Democrats to play at a time when all serious bets are against Joe running again, they have no credible bench to replace his candidacy, and removal of The Donald opens up the track to broadly popular, less controversial, GOP contenders waiting in the wings to be "drafted."
Yeah ... that insurrection word.
At least that's the endless media and politico drumbeat we've been hearing…non-stop.
Like maybe that insurrectionist 69-year-old grandmother with breast cancer who now faces two months of jail time for trespassing after wandering in through an open door in an alleged plot to take over the U.S. government?
And if you've been following the House Select Committee hearings which were purportedly convened to investigate causes and culprits behind the Jan. 6 attacks in order to better understand how to prevent any such further occurrences, that isn't likely what any of us saw.
Instead, we witnessed what we could argue are endless entirely one-sided hearsay accounts, cherry-picked videos and edited Trump statements taken out of context, a total absence of opportunities for accusation rebuttals, and no interest whatsoever in issues unfavorable to the inquisitors.
Interestingly, with all that hysterically hyped hoopla, what hasn't come out of that embarrassing assault on objectivity and fairness are claims that President Trump staged an insurrection — only charges that he didn't act rapidly or strongly enough to end the riotous event.
Whereas the committee comprised entirely of members who previously voted to impeach the former president asserts that they may hold additional hearings in September — and thereby have yet to decide whether to issue criminal referrals against him, have no doubt about that eventual outcome.
Having noted this, also understand that any unsubstantiated insurrection charges will likely carry little or no weight in court ... which I submit, was never the real intent anyway.
Perhaps something closer to the agenda, some legal scholars have called on Congress to pass a bill of attainder concurrent resolution by simple majority expressing the view that Trump engaged in insurrection and is therefore ineligible to hold future office.
Recognizing that any such vote would not have the force of law — and therefore would not be a bill of attainder restricting Trump from running again — a concurrent resolution might serve as persuasive authority for a state Board of Elections or court deciding whether to list Trump's name on the 2024 ballot.
New York law, for example, provides that a candidate shall not be listed on a primary election ballot if she or he doesn't meet the constitutional qualifications for the sought-after position.
By this protocol, any registered Republican in the state could object to having Donald Trump's name listed on a GOP primary ballot, requiring its Board of Elections to hear the challenge.
In other words, the end game might be holding definitive House hearing conclusions and Board of Election challenges conveniently inconclusive to keep the insurrection connection issue alive as long as possible ... the goal being to deflect attention from poll-plummeting Democrat policy failures leading up to congressional midterm contests.
But there's a big hypothetical hitch to hatching such hiatus.
What if resulting Trump election deflection leads to 2024 injection and selection of someone garnering even broader GOP and independent affection?
Whereas I'm certainly not betting against the guy with orange hair any time soon, would Dems really prefer, for example, to run VP and designated southern border czar Kamala Harris against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis?
And might Republicans maybe apply that same Section 3 cudgel to claim that illegal open border migrant invasion invitation an act of insurrection intended to overthrow constitutional sovereignty protections?
Either way, even if they were to succeed in keeping Donald Trump off the ballot ... they still lose.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 12 books is "Archi.tectures Beyond Boxes and Boundaries: My Life By Design" (2022). Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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