Probably the most intriguing aspect of the Trump phenomenon has been the unification of the intelligentsia of both the conservative and liberal realms. Never Trumpers began jumping ship in the field of political commentary early on. A lot of conservatives declared themselves “politically homeless,” when Donald Trump got on the GOP ticket in 2016. Two of those people are George Conway and J. Michael Luttig, who today filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court, which is supposed to hear the issue of Colorado’s Supreme Court removing Trump from that state’s ballot in a 4-3 ruling last month. The court said Trump is ineligible to run in 2024 because the 14th Amendment’s ban on insurrectionists holding office covers his conduct on January 6, 2021. That would be significant if SCOTUS rules that Trump is precluded from being on the ballot. CNN:
A former conservative federal appellate judge is urging the Supreme Court to keep Donald Trump off the ballot, arguing the ex-president’s effort to cling to power after his 2020 election loss was “broader” than South Carolina’s secession from the US that triggered the Civil War.
“Mr. Trump tried to prevent the newly-elected President Biden from governing anywhere in the United States. The South Carolina secession prevented the newly-elected President Lincoln from governing only in that State,” J. Michael Luttig, a former judge on the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals, told the justices in a friend-of-the-court brief filed Monday.
“Trump incited, and therefore engaged in, an armed insurrection against the Constitution’s express and foundational mandates that require the peaceful transfer of executive power to a newly-elected President,” the brief said. “In doing so, Mr. Trump disqualified himself under Section 3 (of the Constitution).”
Luttig has long been one of the most high-profileconservatives to argue that Trump engaged in an insurrection following his loss in 2020 and that he should as a result be barred from holding office. The former judge played a critical role in the heated fight over the certification of the 2020 presidential election, providing in a series of tweets legal ammunition to help then-Vice President Mike Pence defy Trump’s attempt to overturn the election.
George Conway views the issue, and urges to the court to view the issue through a textualist lens – meaning they would focus specifically on the words of the disputed constitutional provision.
“Because Section 3 emerged from the hallowed ground of the Civil War, this Court must accord Section 3 its fair meaning, not a narrow construction,” the brief said.
The brief also pushes back on Trump’s argument that the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban” can only be enforced by Congress after a candidate is elected, with Luttig and the others arguing that enforcement of the provision is instead within the purview of courts.
Trump’s argument, the brief said, “would deprive voters of the ability to make a truly informed decision, because they could not know if they were voting for someone who cannot serve.”
Constitutional crisis, thy name is Trump. Why the Republican party continues to throw itself upon Trump’s funeral pyre is a wonder to behold. But they cannot quit him. There is a vacuum in leadership in the GOP and that was the case in 2015, or such a being such as Trump couldn’t have filled the vacuum to begin with.
Since then all he’s done is grift off his MAGA cult followers and gin them on to further outrage and acting out, although January 6 was his piece de resistance. He’s going to have to go a ways to top it, but that said, I have absolutely no doubt but that if he was reelected, that is precisely what he would do, is make January 6 look like child’s play.
Trump has spoken of being “Dictator For One Day,” invoking martial law, heading up the deportation of millions of people. America as we know it could be gone if this lunatic is elected.
One interesting school of thought worth mentioning: Many pundits have said that the SCOTUS ruling is a win/win situation. If Trump is precluded from being on the ballot by dint of a constitutional interpretation of the 14th Amendment, that’s a win. If, on the other hand, he stays on the ballot and is defeated at the ballot box, that too is a win.
Either way, you know that Trump will claim that he is a victim of the Forces of Evil because he can never admit to loss.
February 8 will be an interesting day. Meanwhile, let’s get through tomorrow and on to the 31st, when Judge Engoron’s verdict is expected. There are more hits coming fast and furious to Trump world than in a 50’s rock station.