As 45th President Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican primary, liberal groups have explored invoking a section of the 14th Amendment to possibly bar Trump from running for office in certain states.
“It’s an absolutely insane theory,” said constitutional attorney Jesse Binnall.
They claim Section 3 of the 14th Amendment reads: “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.”
“On January 6th, 2021, Donald Trump encouraged people to peacefully and patriotically make their voices heard,” Binnall told One America News. “That is not an insurrection. That is not giving aid or comfort to the enemy. You know what is giving aid and comfort to the enemy? Engaging in business with either our enemies or other corrupt countries such as Ukraine — what the Bidens have done.”
“So under this theory, Secretary of States shouldn’t remove Donald Trump from the ballot,” Binnall continued. “They should remove Joe Biden from the ballot, but nobody’s saying that.”
Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes addressed this possible issue in an interview with local outlets.
“Now, the Arizona Supreme Court said that because there’s no statutory process in federal law to enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, you can’t enforce it,” Fontes said on “The Gaggle” podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com.
Binnall emphasized that even talking about this possibility is a slippery slope for both sides.
“It’s absolute insanity to start taking people off the ballot unilaterally,” Binnall said. “Just having bureaucrats pull people off the ballot, which is what these extreme left-wing people want to have happen.”
He claimed that under no reading of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment would support removing Trump from the ballot in any state. He specifically highlighted the use of the word “officer” in the text to support Trump.
“If you want to be technical about it, a plain reading of the text of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, the president is not an officer of the United States,” Binnall explained. “The officers of the United States are people who are appointed by the president, not the president himself. They specifically provided four members of Congress, and they therefore excluded the president.”
Some left wing groups are likely to bring lawsuits regarding this part of the Constitution as election season nears. It could trigger legal chaos that goes as high as the U.S. Supreme Court.
“They don’t want the people to choose the next president,” Binnall said.”
“We must, at the end of this, make sure that this never happens again,” Binnall continued. “And the way that we do that is accountability, criminal accountability, for the people that are doing this to our country.”