A new poll shows that media messaging suggesting that former President Donald Trump should be disqualified from seeking a second non-consecutive term as president is spreading. Although no jurisdiction save perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court can decide whether Trump participated in an insurrection or not, 51% of voters told pollsters in a new Politico/Morning Consult poll that he should be disqualified under the 14th amendment.
Only 34% said the opposite. Thus far cases in Florida asking for Trump’s disqualification under the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment have been tossed due to lack of standing.
Law Leaves It Up To President to Declare Insurrection
The Insurrection Act of 1804 leaves it up to the president to declare that a state of insurrection exists. Trump considered invoking it during the 2020 George Floyd Riots but decided against it due to pushback. President George H.W. Bush was the last president to invoke the law in 1992 during the Los Angeles Riots. Abraham Lincoln invoked it in 1861 to justify drafting soldiers into the Union Army against the Confederacy.
Democrats and Never-Trump Republicans have advocated invoking the clause that bars those who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” from holding office. The main weakness of the argument is that whether or not the January 6 Capitol riot was an “insurrection” boils down to partisan hyperbole.
If the definition of an “insurrection” is decided by partisans then the canard can just as easily be used against Democrats who gave aid and comfort to the George Floyd rioters.
Congress, nor a judge has the legal competence to declare that an insurrection is underway. The notion that the head of the Executive Branch is capable of waging an insurrection or a coup against the Legislative Branch has no basis in statutory law or constitutional law.
Sixty-three percent said they support the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment in a general sense. Only 16% said they opposed it.
Whether Trump Participated in Insurrection Comes Down to Party
However, whether or not Trump participated in an “insurrection” broke down along partisan lines. Seventy-nine percent of Democrats say that Trump participated in an “insurrection,” while 38% of Independents did. And when asked if Trump gave “aid and/or comfort” to “insurrectionists” a similar breakdown occurred.
The Democrat-aligned Free Speech For People and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington each have sponsored drives to knock Trump off of the ballot. They have filed lawsuits in Minnesota and Colorado.
Democrats, Never Trump Republicans Want Supreme Court Ruling
Michigan’s Secretary of State told Politico earlier this month, “The United States Supreme Court is the appropriate place to resolve this issue. The bottom line is it’s not about us at all. It doesn’t matter what a secretary of state does because we expect the Supreme Court to be the final arbiter.”
She is not the only one suggesting that the Supreme Court should look into it.
“I think that the situation that would be most fraught is if the state courts in New York and California throw him off, but the state courts in Alabama and Georgia keep him on,” James Gardner, a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Law who specializes in constitutional and election law, told NPR. “So then you’d have a disagreement among perfectly well-authorized judicial systems. … It needs to be decided by the Supreme Court for everybody.”
Never Trump Texas Republican tax attorney John Anthony Castro filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court asking it to do just that. Castro told 19FortyFive the suits have been brought because Joe Biden seems unable to get far enough ahead of Trump in the polls and he could win. He has also filed suits in 14 states to keep Trump off the ballot.
Castro filed his suit in places like the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which could show hostility to Trump as part of what he calls “Operation Deadlock.”
“It’s absolutely crazy,” Castro previously told Newsweek. “I filed the case and within 14 days, boom, we’re going to have a bench trial on the merits. And whatever the judge decides is going to hold true until the end of the trial.”
“It’s been the one thing that the conservative movement has abused to get these nationwide injunctions against the Biden administration and also during the Obama administration,” Castro said. “They were really good at doing that. Now this is sort of coming back to haunt them.”
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.
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