I posted about a judge in Colorado evaluating all of the evidence, hearing arguments from both sides and concluding that Donald Trump was engaged in insurrection. As a result I submitted that it was astonishing to think that Trump supporters still don’t believe that he was engaged insurrection. To me it seems obvious.
The judge however said she was not sure that this section applied to the presidency so refused to ban Trump from the upcoming presidential ballot in 2024.
The American Constitution, unlike the American people, takes insurrection very seriously. In s. 3 to the 14th amendment to that constitution it says:
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”
What does this section mean? Donald Trump’s lawyers argued that this meant the section did not apply to the president. It only applies to every other officer of the United States, the lawyers argue.
In effect if Trump wins this argument then he has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for conspiring to overturn the 2020 election. Think about that, a former president is arguing in court that he cannot suffer any legal consequence for participating in an insurrection!
Laurence Tribe a well known Harvard Professor of law and constitutional expert said this decision by the Colorado Judge was “bizarre.” I am not that bold because I find the wording in s. 3 perplexing, but Professor Tribe had no such doubt. This is what he said when interviewed by PBS Newshour about this decision:
“it would turn the presidency into a dictatorship. It would basically mean that the revolution that we fought against King George failed, and that the American experiment in constitutional democracy, with no one being above the law, lasted 225 years, and then ended. I don’t want that to happen.”
Now I have to agree with Professor Tribe that this would be bizarre, but frankly I find many aspects of the American Constitution, which so many in America consider Holy Text, to be bizarre. Remember that according to constitution the president has the authority to pardon anyone from a a criminal offence without giving any reasons or justification. Trump used this last time he was in office to pardon a slew of his corrupt cronies. Some have even argued that the Constitution would allow Trump to pardon himself if he was convicted. What could be more bizarre than that? Sometimes I really wonder if the US can be said to have the rule of law at all. Like so much holy writ, the American Constitution is far from perfect.
We have already heard that Trump will make it his job to destroy all of his enemies if elected. How could he be stopped?
This is what Professor Tribe says about the possibility that Trump’s argument succeeds:
“I think it would be a disaster for the freedom of every one of us to have anybody completely above the law. We have in this case someone who said he would terminate the Constitution. He will make his presidency about vengeance. It’s what fascists do.
That is precisely what fascists do all right, and America seems to be headed in that direction thanks to the undying support of millions of Americans for Donald Trump. No matter what he does they will continue to support him. It doesn’t matter if he engages in insurrection. It doesn’t matter if he shoots someone in Times Square. It doesn’t matter if he sexually abuses a woman in department store, his true believers will continue to believe.