There are eight pallbearers in a funeral, right? In this case Donald Trump’s coffin will be carried by nine, which will surprise him because he thought he stacked that deck in his favor already. But it’s not going to happen that way. Alito, Thomas, and Trump’s three appointees are not going to save him when he needs it — unless they pull some truly amazing judicial fancy footwork. And while I don’t rule that out, I think they will take the safer, less inflammatory route and that will lead to Trump’s doom. Let us begin.

As you are painfully aware, we are in for an interesting journey across choppy judicial waters. We’re going to find out whether the Constitution is the sturdy, unsinkable craft that we’ve always been told that it is, designed to carry us safely through the worst political storm, or can it be sabotaged by judges with a partisan agenda? Which is what Trump is betting the farm on, because that’s his only prayer.

Since J. Michael Luttig and Laurence Tribe published a seminal article in The Atlantic on the 14th Amendment the question has narrowed on the topic of Trump being able to run for president in 2024. What it comes down to, is state courts are already challenging whether Trump can be on the ballot or whether he is precluded from running by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which says that:

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. [emphasis mine] […]

The bottom line is that Donald Trump both “engaged in” “insurrection or rebellion” and gave “aid or comfort” to others engaging in such conduct, within the original meaning of those terms as employed in Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. If the public record is accurate, the case is not even close. He is no longer eligible to the office of Presidency, or any other state or federal office covered by the Constitution.

That last passage was written by two legal scholars, William Bodes and Michael Stokes Paulsen, both members of the Federalist Society, and that really is as simple as it gets. Laurence Tribe spoke about this yesterday and his opinion is that this matter will get before the Supreme Court and he believes that will take place before the GOP convention in July, 2024.

Now there are a few possibilities here. This is where it gets interesting.

  1. The Supreme Court could decide that, on its face, the language of Section 3 is clear and Trump therefore cannot run for office again;
  2. Or, they may decide that this is a matter for the legislative branch and bounce it there. You saw the plain language, “But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

There is no way that a substantial group of Democrats in the House will join with the razor-thin GOP majority and vote that Trump remains on the ballot, and there is certainly no way that Trump could win in the Senate. I believe it’s safe to say that even Mitch McConnell would laugh uproariously at the very idea. It simply is not happening. Not in the first six months of 2024, it’s not.

So where does that leave Trump? SOL, yes, but what are his options? Can he argue that he will step down in 2024, but the MAGAs have to have yuuge Republican wins down ballot, so that he can run in 2028 where there will be a supermajority in both chambers of Congress to allow him to overcome this Constitutional impediment? That’s an interesting fantasy.

I believe that is really is this simple and that Donald Trump will go out of our lives, not with a bang, but with a whimper. He simply won’t get on the 2024 ballot. And what can of worms that opens next, is anybody’s guess.

One good aspect of this is that I believe that No Labels would be derailed. Or, maybe they’ll try to split the vote anyway, and hope that Ron DeSantis can pull enough votes on his own, that with the ones that No Labels bleeds from Biden, they will enable him to win.

Point being, Trump off the ballot will put an entirely different spin on the 2024 election and late in the game, no less. This is going to be one wild election year, on that you may depend.

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    • It is pretty basic. Those two scholars are right, Paulsen and Bodes and Luttig and Tribe are no amateurs. I don’t see what SCOTUS is going to come up with that is going to be a workaround to this basic framework.

      And I think Trump knows it. He went ballistics and called the 14th Amendment a “trick” and insulted everybody all Labor Day weekend.

      • The fashy five on the s.c. (roberts is worse than useless) have tied themselves into hypocritical versions of the Gordian Knot multiple times. I would not count on them to pick their noses correctly let alone decide correctly on a case where the Constitution is so clear. We might not see what they can come up with but I do believe they can create something and it will be something the constitution does not remotely say and would benefit the most reactionary people–‘pubes and particularly trump. Not saying they definitely will, just that they can. They’re creative if nothing else.

        • Those GOP nominated justices are ACUTELY aware that authoritarians and dictators have no need for supreme courts. I’m certain they are absolutely aware of what recently happened to Israel’s SC. Given Alito’s kicking & screaming at the mere suggestion of a code of ethics for the SC, these justices are FAR MORE interested in preserving their own personal wealth & power than they are putting Trump in the WH. These justices absolutely recognize that for their current lifestyles to continue, the US MUST remain a democracy and are NOT going to give up million dollar vacations on someone else’s dime, sweetheart real estate deals, and actual cash in exchange for positive case rulings. This is ACTUALLY the one time we should be grateful ‘Trumps SC’ is as shady and corrupt as it is. I’m concerned this case isn’t going to reach the SC BEFORE the election.

      • The best thing is that anyone is AUTOMATICALLY EXCLUDED unless allowed to stand by 2/3rds of BOTH houses, reversing the usual order of things.

        What was the aphorism? Live by the sword, die by the sword?

      • Tribe is 100% correct legally, but this SCOTUS doesn’t follow The Constitution, Case Law or Established Rules of Procedure of SCOTUS. This Heritage Foundation controlled SCOTUS is fully corrupted & will never go against Trumpelthinskin & follow the laws set forth by the Constitution to bar him from appearing on the 2024 ballot in states. The Biden Administration knows this too which is why they are not using resources to pursue THIS 14th Amendment avenue to legally invalidate Don the Con from seeking to become the 1st DOTUS (Dictator of the US).

      • Well, some of MTG’s constituents tried using the 14th to get her off the ballot in 2022 but it failed largely because there was no actual proof that she violated Section 3. And, let’s face it, given the fact that Senator Josh Hawley–who’d been seen raising a fist in support of the “protestors”–was caught on camera RUNNING AWAY in the halls of Congress after those “protestors” breached the Capitol building, it really would make it tough to prove any of the members of Congress actually “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort” once the “protest” turned into the actual breaching of the Capitol. Trump clearly sat back and watched the breach without doing a thing but his Congressional enablers had a slightly different perspective as they were in the middle of events; most of them conveniently “forgot” what happened and how the mob would’ve gladly ripped them to pieces regardless of their politics (it’s pretty safe to say that the majority of the mob wouldn’t have known who was “right” or who was “left” during the “hunt”).

        WE all had suspicions about the behavior of certain members of Congress in the days and hours before the insurrection and how that behavior *should* have kept them off the ballots in November 2022 but without actual proof of any crime or conspiratorial behavior, those members had to live or die by the ballot. And, again, as most of those members were hunkered down in fear for their own lives, how are you going to really make a case for their removal from Congress?

  1. what I find at least comical, the 14 amendment is really vague on principle.
    you don’t have to be convicted.
    a steaming pile of orange dogs hit is good
    who knew
    here’s where it gets good for me.
    popity pop
    polity pop,
    it’s the 14 Amendment, right wing courting
    in defense
    Ursula, the Constitution is so
    vague on powers,
    do you want to make live changes
    on votes if 9 unelected
    founding fathers said
    sorry kids on my lawn, ill be back

  2. all laughter asides
    Ursula could you imagine Gaets and Marge coming for your job
    Robert’s Rules
    I’ve done very adult debates
    that seems so Quant
    what we felt was important in local discourse
    they are shredding In DC

  3. It is up to the Secretaries of State in each state to determine whether or not a certain person can be on their state’s ballot. Some of the extremely red states might allow him to be on theirs, but 99.9% of the rest will not.

  4. The supremes should not even become involved. That amendment needs no clarification or interpretation. The debate should cease and that’s it. The problem with scholars is that they too often want to hedge their bets with all those “MAY HAVES” AND “MAY BES” I’m not sure how much clearer that statement can be, brooking no argument. If it is not enforced, and if any subsequent insurrection in protest of any Trump jail time, it should been forced by federal law enforcement, and the supremes should just sit still and STFU!


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