Will Congress Vote Whether Trump Or Biden Can Be President?
The Supreme Court will hear Thursday whether former President Donald Trump should be barred from becoming president again under the 14th Amendment. The case might also affect if President Joe Biden could be barred from office.
Under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, anyone who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and held state or federal office and has engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States cannot hold state or federal office except that “Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”
The issues the court will consider include whether Section 3 is limited to the Civil War, whether the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol constituted an “insurrection” within the meaning of Section 3, whether the office of president is included among the offices from which an individual can be barred, whether President Trump “engaged in” an insurrection, and whether Section 3 is self-executing or must be interpreted and enforced by federal legislation.
In addition, as Jason Riley notes in The Wall Street Journal, a brief filed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee introduces another aspect of this case, that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not bar anyone from running for any office but only from holding office (under certain conditions).
If the “disability” imposed by Section 3 were a permanent bar, then there would be no question that a person disabled by Section 3 could not run for an office he or she could not hold. Yet, as that brief also reminds us, Congress has the authority to “remove such disability” by a vote of two-thirds of each chamber. So a candidate for state or federal office disabled by Section 3 can run for an office, since Congress ultimately determines if a winning, disabled candidate can hold it.
Continue Reading at The Federalist.