A coalition of Trump critics have written Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to establish that President Trump is disqualified from holding future office, citing a 100-plus-yaer-old-law (Section Three of the 14th Amendment) meant to prevent Confederate leaders from subverting the "fragile constitutional order" post-Civil War.
The Senate failed to convict the former President on an impeachment charge he had incited the Capitol insurrection. The vote would also have prevented him from holding future office. But the groups say there is another way to achieve that end.
That request to Schumer comes even as Trump is resurfacing in interviews on Fox News and Newsmax tied to the death this week of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, but in which he talked about a number of issues. Trump signaled he could run again in 2024, still arguing the 2020 election was stolen from him.
In a letter to Schumer, various groups* urged Schumer to "exhaust his constitutional options" to prevent a Trump political second act.
They said Congress could pass a bill clarifying that the section, which "disqualifies from public office any individual who has taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and then engages in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or has given aid or comfort to those who have," applies to former President Trump, though that could be problematic since Congress just voted not to convict him of that charge.
They concede seeking a court action to disqualify Trump under the section would not require Congressional action, with the court then left to decide if it applies, but such a law, or even simply a resolution with the sense of Congress that the section applies to Trump (resolutions have no force of law), would provide "powerful support" for such a legal challenge to Trump.
"Section Three is meant to ensure that any future presidents or would-be office-holders are dissuaded from the notion that the U.S. will permit violent insurrections to contest the will of the people. Congress should expeditiously turn to a constitutional tool designed explicitly for this juncture," they told Schumer.
*Signing on to the letter were Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Common Cause, Constitutional Accountability Center, DemCast, Democracy 21, Digital Democracy Project, Equal Justice Society, Free Speech For People, Government Accountability Project, Mainers for Accountable Leadership' MoveOn Civic Action, Project on Government Oversight, Protect Democracy, Public Citizen, and Stand Up America.
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