“The question of eligibility to serve as President of the United States is properly reserved for Congress, not the state courts, to consider and decide,” Donald Trump’s appeal of the Colorado Supreme Court decision reads. “By considering the question of President Trump’s eligibility and barring him from the ballot, the Colorado Supreme Court arrogated Congress’ authority.”
Indeed, the brief notes that when cases arose questioning the eligibility of John McCain, Barack Obama, and Sen. Ted Cruz, the federal courts uniformly ruled that the Constitution gives Congress and not the courts the power to determine eligibility. Beyond this, Trump’s lawyers note that the ruling overturned by the entirely Democrat-appointed Colorado Supreme Court “ultimately concluded that section 3 was inapplicable to President Trump because he never took an oath ‘as an officer of the United States.’” In other words, he takes a different oath than officers of the United States, and the Constitution excludes the president when speaking of officers of the United States.
The Colorado Supreme Court, which remained unbothered when the state elected a former private in the Confederate Army as Colorado’s governor and later as a U.S. senator, judges Donald Trump as ineligible for office for delivering a speech more than a mile away from the Capitol on Jan. 6.
However disgraceful the conduct of so many on Jan. 6 strikes even some Trump supporters, sensible people can differentiate between a war that killed more than 600,000 people and a protest-turned-riot in which not even the worst of the rioters fired a shot.
Then-President Trump told supporters, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Selena Zito famously observed of Trump in 2016, “The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.” Here Trump’s enemies demand the courts disregard his actual words and instead assume he spoke in code intelligible to QAnon Shaman but mysterious to less advanced beings unable to decipher words beyond their actual meanings.
Recall these same people insisted that Trump’s supporters bludgeoned a Capitol policeman to death when he actually died of a stroke, minus evidence of any head wounds the next day. They took the riot seriously but not literally.
The New York Times falsely claimed that “pro-Trump supporters attacked that citadel of democracy, overpowered Mr. [Brian] Sicknick, 42, and struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to two law enforcement officials. With a bloody gash in his head, Mr. Sicknick was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support.” None of this happened — as the postmortem and lack of criminal charges indicated — but Democrats bizarrely placed this falsehood in their bizarre post-presidency articles of impeachment anyhow. They took the riot seriously but not literally.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed the riot for “almost 10 dead.” But this includes law enforcement officers who committed suicide as distant as months later, a protester who overdosed on fentanyl, two men not in the Capitol who suffered heart attacks, and an unarmed, 115-pound woman shot dead by a Capitol policeman. Siegfried died the next week — why not include him in the tally as well? AOC took the riot seriously but not literally.
The peculiar and incessant use of insurrection—the same word mentioned in Article 3 of the 14th Amendment—from the jump signals the contrived manner of all this.
Progressives take the Constitution neither seriously nor literally. And as the late National Review senior editor Joe Sobran frequently observed, a living-document Constitution necessarily becomes a dead letter. People who take liberties with the manner of a policeman’s death to score political points find no compunction against doing likewise with the 14th Amendment. They reverse-engineer from deciding the optimum outcome backward to determining the best way to interpret the document’s text to arrive at that outcome. The peculiar and incessant use of insurrection — the same word mentioned in Article 3 of the 14th Amendment—from the jump signals the contrived manner of all this.
Leaving aside from the current inside baseball of how “Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article,” discussions of the 14th Amendment usually start and end with how it guarantees due process and the right to vote. Colorado and Maine — in the name of the 14th Amendment no less—seek to strip Trump of the former right and his supporters of the latter.
Not all insurrectionists wear furs and facepaint. Some wear black robes.