Retired federal judge J. Michael Luttig on Tuesday argued that former President Donald Trump could be constitutionally barred from running in 2024 over his alleged role in the January 6 Capitol protest.
Luttig, while speaking to MSNBC’s “Deadline,” maintained that section 3 of the 14th Amendment could be applied to the former president and his role in the January 6 protest.
The Fourteenth Amendment itself, in Section 3, answers the question whether disqualification is “anti-democratic,” declaring that it is not. Rather, it is the conduct that gives rise to disqualification that is anti-democratic, per the command of the Constitution.
— @judgeluttig (@judgeluttig) August 21, 2023
“The question is not whether the Section 3 of the 14th Amendment applies to the former president. It unquestionably does,” Luttig said. “The questions that the Supreme Court must decide eventually are rather more technical Constitutional questions. For instance, whether the clause is self-executing and which particular officials are in a position to challenge the qualification of the former president. But in terms of the process, the process is quite clear. I believe to a certainty that there will be secretaries of states in several of the states who will decline to place the former president on the ballot, arguing that he is unqualified by virtue of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.”
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment provides that no individual who has taken an oath as an officer of the United States can hold public office if they have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the U.S. or given aid or comfort to her enemies.
Democrats have falsely argued that Trump and his supporters plotted to overthrow the U.S. government with the January 6 protest. Thus, the former president should be barred from ever taking office.
However, Fox News contributor and professor at George Washington University Law School Jonathan Turley disagreed with the Democrats’ argument while labeling it as the “single most dangerous” constitutional theory he has seen in decades. Turley maintained that while he agreed with the provisions of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, he does not see the January 6 protest as an insurrection or a plan to overthrow the U.S. government.
From some, the 14th Amendment theory is the ultimate Hail Mary pass if four indictments, roughly 100 criminal charges and more than a dozen opposing candidates fail to get the job done. https://t.co/x0fW0CEthX
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) August 19, 2023
“In the view of many citizens, including myself, It (January 6 protest) was a protest that became a riot,” Turley said. “It was not a rebellion or insurrection, but that’s a matter of disagreement between citizens. Donald Trump hasn’t been charged with insurrection. Not even incitement. Special Counsel Jack Smith charged him (Trump) with a variety of crimes like fraud. He notably did not charge him with even incitement in that second federal indictment.”
Turley added that trying to get Trump off the ballot with the 14th Amendment is undemocratic and would disenfranchise millions who plan to vote for the former president.