Raskin Calls On Congress To Disqualify Trump After SCOTUS Ruling

By Robert Cunningham, updated on March 5, 2024

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has thrown a political hot potato back to Congress's court.

The Supreme Court unanimously overturned a Colorado ruling disqualifying former President Donald Trump from the ballot, urging Congress to act.

This move has sparked a wave of reactions across the political spectrum, notably from Representative Jamie Raskin, who has been vocal in his disappointment with the Court's decision. Raskin, along with colleagues Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Eric Swalwell, is pushing for legislation that addresses what they see as a loophole in enforcing the Constitution's 14th Amendment.

Raskin's Crusade for Constitutional Enforcement

Representative Jamie Raskin, known for his constitutional scholarship, did not mince words in his critique of the Supreme Court's latest ruling. Raskin argues that the Court has essentially sidestepped a critical issue, leaving it to Congress to enforce the 14th Amendment's Section Three.

This section of the Constitution, rarely spotlighted in mainstream political discourse, bars anyone who has engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the U.S. from holding office.

Raskin stated:

The court didn’t exactly disagree with it. They just said that they’re not the ones to figure it out. It’s not going to be a matter for judicial resolution under Section Three of the 14th Amendment, but it’s up to Congress to enforce it.

This push by Raskin and his colleagues to revive legislation aimed at establishing a process for disqualifying individuals under this clause comes in the wake of the House of Representatives impeachment of Donald Trump for incitement of insurrection. Despite the Senate's 57 to 43 vote, the effort fell short of the two-thirds majority required to convict.

The Legislation's Uncertain Path Forward

The revival of this legislation, however, faces uncertain prospects. Concerns abound over whether Speaker Mike Johnson will permit the bill to reach the House floor for a debate and vote. This uncertainty underscores the ongoing tensions and divisions within Congress, reflecting American politics' broader polarization.

Raskin's efforts highlight a significant legal and constitutional debate: the role of the judiciary versus the legislative branch in interpreting and enforcing the Constitution.

His criticism of the Supreme Court's decision to not engage with what he sees as the "clear textualist meaning" of Section Three of the 14th Amendment underscores the challenges faced in holding individuals accountable for acts deemed insurrectionary.

Raskin critiqued:

Obviously the Supreme Court did not want to step up to the plate and deal with the clear textualist meaning of Section Three of the 14th Amendment, much less did they want to deal with the original purposes of Section Three of the 14th Amendment, which was to keep off of keep out of federal office, people who had already proven themselves disloyal and untrustworthy.

A Constitutional Conundrum: Implications and Reactions

The Supreme Court's decision and Raskin's subsequent actions have ignited a complex debate over the Constitution's interpretation, the balance of powers, and the mechanisms for enforcing the foundational document of American governance.

This situation highlights the intricate dance between the judiciary and legislative branches, each with its own role in the constitutional framework yet interdependent in ensuring the document's principles are upheld.

The broader implications of this debate extend beyond the specifics of the case at hand, touching on questions of loyalty, trustworthiness, and the qualifications for holding public office in the United States. As this issue unfolds, it will undoubtedly continue to spark discussions on the nature of democracy, the rule of law, and the processes through which the United States navigates its most challenging constitutional questions.

Conclusion

The Supreme Court's unanimous decision to overturn a Colorado Supreme Court ruling disqualifying Donald Trump from the ballot has thrown the issue of enforcing the 14th Amendment's Section Three back to Congress. Representative Jamie Raskin and colleagues are spearheading efforts to establish a legislative process for disqualifying individuals who have committed insurrection from holding federal office.

This initiative, rooted in the impeachment of Donald Trump for incitement of insurrection, highlights the ongoing debate over the judiciary and legislative branches' roles in interpreting and enforcing the Constitution. The uncertainty surrounding the proposed legislation's future underscores the deep divisions and challenges facing American politics today. As this situation develops, it will serve as a critical test of the constitutional and democratic principles that underpin the United States.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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