Attorneys representing Donald Trump have submitted a document to the Colorado state Supreme Court that may give some of his most ardent supporters heartburn. Discussing the the 14th Amendment’s clause that prohibits former insurrectionists from holding elected office, which Democrats believe should bar him from the White House, the former president’s representatives claim he never took an oath to support the Constitution.
The argument from Trump’s counsel revolves around the semantics of the 14th Amendment. The President takes a distinct oath of office compared to other government representatives, such as members of Congress.
The 14th Amendment states: “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.”
The presidential oath reads as follows: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The lawsuit in Colorado stems from a ballot challenge against the former president launched by private citizens who have pointed to the 14th Amendment as cause to ban him the election.
“Six residents in Colorado sued to have Trump barred from being able to appear on the state ballot next year as a candidate for president, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment — sometimes known as the insurrectionist clause — as their basis for doing so. That provision states that no person can be elected to any office within the United States if they have served in a position where they ‘previously [took] an oath … to support the Constitution” while subsequently engaging in “insurrection or rebellion’ or giving aid or comfort to those who have engaged in such activities,” explains Truthout.
“Lawyers from the nonprofit watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), who are representing the six residents in Colorado seeking to disqualify Trump from the ballot, argued differently in their brief to the state Supreme Court last week.
“The Constitution itself, historical context, and common sense, all make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s disqualification clause extends to the President and the Presidency,” CREW stated in its brief to the court, adding:
The Constitution explicitly tells us, over and over, that the Presidency is an ‘office.’ The natural meaning of ‘officer of the United States’ is anyone who holds a federal ‘office.’ And the natural reading of ‘oath to support the Constitution’ includes the stronger Presidential oath to ‘preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.’”
Democrats in Michigan, Georgia, New Hampshire and Minnesota have recently tried to block Trump from the ballot in the upcoming elections, but all attempts have so far been rejected.
It’s not surprising that liberals across the country have become more and more desperate to deploy technicalities to prevent him from returning to the White House. Over the past month, poll after poll has revealed the GOP frontrunner beginning to pull away from Joe Biden in 2024, albeit at a much less pace than Trump’s challengers in the GOP, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.
The current occupant of the White House finds himself mired in disapproval and concerns about his fitness for office has been growing.
“President Joe Biden’s approval rating has declined to the lowest level of his presidency — 40% — as strong majorities of all voters disapprove of his handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war,” wrote NBC News last week.
“What’s more, the poll finds Biden behind former President Donald Trump for the first time in a hypothetical general-election matchup, although the deficit is well within the poll’s margin of error for a contest that’s still more than 11 months away.
The erosion for Biden is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza, and among voters ages 18 to 34, with a whopping 70% of them disapproving of Biden’s handling of the war.”