According to a new Politico.com/Morning Consult poll, the vast majority of American voters do not think former President Donald Trump should be allowed to seek higher office again in the 2024 election and would support an effort to disqualify him.
In the new poll, 51 percent agreed that the 14th Amendment would prohibit Trump from running again because he engaged in insurrection. Thirty-four percent disagreed.
The little-known provision of the U.S. Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment, ratified following the Civil War, and its Section 3, which essentially disqualifies from office anyone who engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States. It was originally drafted to prevent former Confederate leaders from serving in Congress.
It was primarily used in the decade after the war and has rarely been discussed – let alone invoked – since NPR reported.
However, on January 6, 2021, then-President Trump encouraged his supporters to march on the U.S. Capitol Building, and while he may have never actually called for those individuals to storm the building, a case could be made that for three hours Trump did nothing to stop the violence.
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who served as co-chair of the House Select Committee, described the events, “Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.”
The argument first gained traction in August, when William Baude of the University of Chicago Law School and Michael Stokes Paulsen of the University of St. Thomas School of Law released their paper – “The Sweep and Force of Section Three” – which they said Trump should be disqualified from the race. The 126-page document, which lays out the history of the amendment, makes a case that it disqualifies former President Donald Trump, and potentially many others, because of their participation in the attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election.
What Do Americans Think about Donald Trump?
Legal experts continue to argue over whether Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, but the Politico/Morning Consult poll asked average Americans their opinions on the issue. It asked if Americans “support or oppose” that section. Broadly, voters did agree with it – and 63 percent said they either strongly or somewhat support it, which includes a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. By contrast, just 16 percent said they somewhat or strongly oppose it.
When asked if they believed the former president had “engaged in insurrection or rebellion,” 51 percent said either definitely or probably yes, while 35 percent said definitely or probably no. That was very divided on party lines, as 79 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of independents said Trump did engage in insurrection or rebellion, though just under of Republicans agreed.
Trump’s camp has been dismissive of the 14th Amendment push, and called it a “political attack” and that it was “stretching the law beyond recognition.” But it will likely be the Supreme Court that decides whether Trump will be on the ballot in all 50 states.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.