Don’t Be So Certain About Trump And Section 3

A jurisdictional element can be found in section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. This element delineates which positions fall under Section 3. It is called a “person”. . . After having taken an oath as a member or an alternate, who has now been authorized to take an oath as an official of Congress. Officer of the United StatesAny member of any state legislature as well as any executive or judicial officers of any state are eligible to vote in support of the Constitution of the United States.

Section 3’s only possibility of covering President Trump is if he takes an oath supporting the Constitution, as “officers of the United States”. Trump only took one constitutional oath, that of President of the United States. For President Trump to be disqualified under Section 3, he must be “officer of United States” in order to comply with Section 3.

Recent op-eds on President Trump and Section 3 were published. The pieces claim that Trump is the only one who can answer this question. It is clear For purposes of Section 3, an “officer” is defined as a representative of the United States.

Politico by Bruce Ackerman & Gerard Magliocca

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment — the Disqualification Clause — expressly bars any person from holding “any office, civil or military, under the United States” if he “engaged in insurrection” against the Constitution after previously swearing to uphold it “as an officer of the United States.” These are the terms CertainTrump may apply, while some Democrats explore using Section 3 to his disadvantage.

Cliff Sloan, Brendan Gants and Brendan Gants contributed to the Washington Post:

This category PlainlyTrump is included. He took an oath as president to support the Constitution.

Seth Barrett Tillman (me) and I discuss this topic in our article, Is President an ‘Officer to the United States’ for purposes of Section 3. of the Fourteenth Amendment. Our position is supported by evidence. There is also evidence to support our position. However, there is no “proven” way to know.

The Jefferson Davis case is an example of a red herring, which serves to preempt an obvious and unnecessary response. Davis was Senator. A position which was specifically enumerated by Section 3’s juridical element. Trump only took one constitutional oath, the presidential oath.