(ThePatriotSource.com)- Democrats were hoping they’d convince enough Republican Senators to vote to convict former President Donald Trump in the impeachment trial set to commence next week.
A conviction obviously wouldn’t have the traditional intended effect, as Trump is no longer in the White House and, therefore, isn’t in an office that he can be removed from. Still, Democrats have persisted with their case, hoping that a conviction may result in Trump being barred from holding any federal office in the future.
With conviction looking like anything but a remote, remote possibility at this point, though, Democrats are grasping for straws — this time, looking at an odd provision in the 14th Amendment as a way to possibly bar Trump from holding future office.
Some Congress members along with liberal legal scholars are looking into a provision in that amendment of the Constitution and whether it could be used to bar someone from holding federal office.
The 14th Amendment was ratified back in 1868 as part of the Reconstruction Era in American history following the Civil War. It’s most commonly known for guaranteeing “equal protection” under the law to all American citizens.
But the amendment also includes a provision in Section Three that would bar anyone from holding federal office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S. or who has given “aid and comfort” to any of its enemies.
Putting that provision into historical context, it’s obvious why it was included in the 14th Amendment. The United States had just finished a bloody and violent Civil War that divided the country. Members of Congress wanted to use the provision as a way to deter another group of people from trying to rise up to break away from the union again.
Democrats today are so desperate to keep Trump out of their inner circle that they are trying to use that language — that’s more than 150 years old and was written for completely different purposes — to bar the former president from holding office.
And, they’re doing this because they know they’re going to be unsuccessful at convicting Trump, for a second time, at an impeachment trial in the Senate.
Democratic Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia is one person who’s leading the charge in Congress. At a January news conference, Kaine discussed using the 14th Amendment, saying:
“What I want to do is offer my colleagues an option to impeachment.”
There are many things about using the 14th Amendment in this way that are very unclear, making it unlikely that it would be successful — if used at all.
Keith Whittington, who’s a professor of politics at Princeton University, explained:
“Section Three does not identify any mechanisms for determining whether an official has actually engaged in insurrectionist activities that would trigger the disqualification, and as a consequence, it has not been used very much, and it is not even clear what kind of mechanism would be constitutional.”
Using Section Three with just a simple majority vote could be quite dangerous, too, Whittington said. If Democrats try to go that route with Trump, Republicans could try to do the same thing as revenge when they eventually re-gain control of Congress. The professor explained:
“There is a great deal of obvious political risk in having the Congress just make such determinations by majority vote and potentially disqualifying from office members of the minority party with little evidence and through an entirely partisan political process.”