Why Trump Should be Banned From Holding Public Office

“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. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

Insurrection means an act or instance of revolting against a civil authority.

On January 20, 2017, Donald John Trump took the oath of office as President of the United States (POTUS), having been duly elected to that office in November 2016. Trump held that office until noon on January 20, 2021, when his four-year tenure as POTUS expired. As POTUS, Trump was Chief Executive of the United States (pursuant to Article II, Section 1[1]) and Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces (pursuant to Article II, Section 2[1]) of the Constitution of the United States.

Before entering that office, Trump took the following Oath of Affirmation prescribed in Article II, Section 1[8] of the Constitution of the United States: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

On January 6, 2021, Trump knowingly, purposely, and publicly directed, exhorted and commended his political supporters to march to the United States Capitol and prevent the House and Senate from certifying the Electoral College vote as prescribed by Article II, Section 1[3] of the Constitution of the United States, by which Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris were elected President and Vice President of the United States, respectively. That was an insurrection.

Hundreds of Trump’s supporters marched to the Capitol. They broke through physical barricades and attacked and overwhelmed members of the Capitol police force. They broke windows and unlawfully entered the Capitol. Trump’s supporters vocally called for the deaths of Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the presiding officers of the U.S. Senate (Pence) and House of Representatives (Pelosi).

Their actions resulted in the death of one law enforcement officer (Capitol Police Officer Brian Sisnick), the death of one insurrectionist (Amy Babbitt), physical and emotional injuries to numerous other law enforcement personnel, damage to Capitol offices and theft of their contents.

That conduct by Trump’s followers was insurrection.

As POTUS, Trump invited his supporters to Washington, D.C. to attend a  “Stop the Steal” political rally in the weeks before January 6, 2021, knowing that Congress would certify the results of the 2020 general election for President on that date as required by Art—II, Section 1[3] of the Constitution of the United States.

As POTUS, Trump made a speech to thousands of his supporters on January 6 at the “Stop the Steal” political rally. During that speech, he admonished his supporters to “fight like hell” to prevent what he termed “the steal,” meaning certification of the tally showing Biden’s election and his defeat.

That was an insurrection.

As POTUS, Trump directed a Secret Service detail to drive him to the U.S. Capitol following his January 6 speech and attempted to force his driver to do so. But he was physically restrained by the Secret Service.

As POTUS, Trump refused to direct civilian or military assets to protect and defend the U.S. Capitol from encroachment by his supporters and refused to call on his supporters to refrain from engaging in insurrection or rebellion against the United States.

As POTUS, Trump cheered from the White House as his supporters attacked Capitol police after they unlawfully and violently entered the U.S. Capitol and after they forced the House and Senate to suspend official proceedings related to certification of the 2020 election result.

That well-known conduct by Trump, while holding the office of President of the United States and Commander in Chief of U.S. Armed Forces, constituted insurrection against the United States.

Moreover, Trump encouraged and cheered armed militants who engaged in insurrection against the United States. According to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, Trump’s conduct makes him constitutionally unqualified from holding “any office, civil or military, under the United States.”

Trump is not qualified to hold the highest elected office in the U.S. government for the same reason that a 34-year-old person is unqualified. He is not qualified to hold the office of President of the United States for the same reason that a naturalized citizen is unqualified. He is not qualified to hold the office of the President of the United States for the same reason that a person who has not been a resident of the United States for fourteen years is unqualified.

If you don’t believe me, read Article II, Section 1[5] of the Constitution of the United States.

Trump’s disqualification under Section 3 of Amendment XIV to the U.S. Constitution is not based on partisanship. It is based on his disloyalty to the Constitution he swore an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend.” Trump’s disloyalty renders him constitutionally unfit to hold any public office, let alone the highest public office in the nation.

Trump’s constitutional disability could be legislatively removed by the vote of two-thirds of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. That legislation has not been introduced in either body, let alone enacted.

Some believe that election officials and court judges should not ban Trump from being elected based on Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. That group includes Trump supporters, Trump detractors and others who argue that barring Trump from holding office is “undemocratic” because he is the likely nominee of the Republican Party in 2024.

However popular a presidential candidate might be, the Constitution does not allow that person to hold the office of President of the United States if he or she is less than 35 years old, not a natural-born citizen of the United States, and has not been a resident within the United States for fourteen years.

And the Constitution does not allow that popular person to hold the office of President if he or she has engaged in insurrection against the United States.

The issue is not whether the Constitution declares Trump unfit to hold that office. Rather, the question is whether people are faithful, loyal and brave enough to say so and to act accordingly.

That is important not only for local and state election officials but also for state and federal judges. It is important for every citizen of the United States, no matter who we might favor in the 2024 presidential election contest.

This is not a political question. It is a matter of our fidelity to Article VI, Section 2 of the Constitution, which reads:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof,…shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Donald Trump attempted an insurrection against the United States on January 6, 2021. Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits him from holding any political office, including the office of President of the United States.

The Constitution is the supreme Law of the Land, not Trump’s popularity. It is that simple.


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