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Tuesday, October 31, 2023
WND's Constitutionalists Fret That Constitution Could Kick Trump Off Ballot
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily likes to portray itself as faithful constitutionalists, but when some invoked the Constitution as a reason to remove Donald Trump from 2024 presideintial ballots, WND started singing a different tune. Bob Unruh complained in a July 20 article:

Democrats have insisted since it happened on calling the riot in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, an "insurrection."

Setting aside the facts, which include that it was a riot by a few hundred people who vandalized parts of the building, and that President Trump had told his fans to protest "peacefully," there are other considerations.

An "insurrection" would require some sort of plan to actually take over the government, to implement new rules, orders, policies and such. And what about commanding the military? There have not even been suggestions there's evidence for this.

Nevertheless, Democrats insist it was an "insurrection" and now it's being explained why.

By convincing Americans, and especially judges, it was an "insurrection," Democrats want to use any conviction of President Trump to label him an "insurrectionist" and, under the 14th Amendment, keep him off the 2024 ballot. Or prevent him from taking office if elected.

That amendment was adopted after the Civil War and bars those who participated in an "insurrection" from holding federal office.

By manipulating the facts about Jan. 6, and redefining various words, leftists hope that they will be able to accomplish their goal.

Unruh didn't offer any evidence to refute the claim, instead quoting other right-wingers whining about it.

In a July 25 column -- the opening essay to a issue of the sparsely read Whistleblower magazine that bestowed martyrdom on Trump by declaring him the victim of "persecution" -- managing editor David Kupelian huffed that "the Democrats’ end-game appears to be a perverse attempt to constitutionally bar Trump from ever again seeking public office on the grounds that he violated the 14th Amendment, Section 3, which forbids any person from holding any elected office who 'shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against' the United States of America." He too failed to offer any evidence to refute the claim.

An Aug. 21 article by Unruh touted a pro-Trump attrorney bizarrely calling the Constitution an "urban legend" and likening enforcing the Constitution on Trump to authoritarian dictatorhips like Iran:

An increasing number of voices on the left are demanding that, like in countries like Iran, America's ballot be subjected to a "cleansing" in which the government officials now in power will determine who will be on the ballot to succeed them in their power.

But constitutional expert Jonathan Turley, who has testified before Congress and represented members in court, said the implications of that agenda are "chilling."

The issue is that infamous Jan. 6, 2021, protest-turned-riot at the Capitol. Leftists insist President Trump is to blame for everything that happened that day. And they have chosen to define it themselves as an "insurrection."

They say that means they can apply the Constitution's 14th Amendment, which was adopted after the Civil War and bars those who participate in a rebellion or insurrection to overturn the government from later being elected.

"Such ballot cleansing is common in countries like Iran where citizens wait to learn which opposition candidates will be allowed to run," he said.

Turley explained, "The popularity of urban legends is a testament to the will to believe. The desire of people to keep Elvis alive or prove that a Sasquatch could exist furtively in our backyards shows the resilience of fables.

"Constitutional urban legends often have an even more immediate appeal and tend to arise out of the desperation of divided times. One of the most popular today is that former President Donald Trump can be barred from office, even if he is not convicted in any of the four indictments he faces, under a long-dormant clause of the 14th Amendment."

As usual, this is a one-sided story in which Unruh refused to seek out anyone to respond to Turley's claims (and there are people who will).

Unruh fretted more about it in a Sept. 7 article:

Some voters in a leftist state with a strong anti-Trump agenda are taking the lead in pushing a "highly suspect constitutional theory" intended to keep him off the 2024 presidential ballot by simply declaring him unqualified.

"No adjudication. No judge. No jury. Just the Left declaring him 'disqualified' for office," explained a commentary from Jordan Sekulow at the American Center for Law and Justice.

The Center Square explains it is in Colorado where some voters have sued seeking a court order banning President Donald Trump from the Republican presidential primary ballot.

The report explains the 115-page complaint claims Trump can't be on the ballot because of the 14th Amendment, which "states anyone who took an oath to support the Constitution and then 'engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same,' … cannot hold a state or federal office."

It dates to the post-Civil War period when individuals who fought for the Confederacy were returning to be members of Congress.

But the premise conflating Trump's criticism of faults in the 2020 election and the Civil War seems extreme, critics say. Further, Trump never has even been charged with anything like insurrection.

But as others have pointed out, the Constitution does not require anyone to be charged with insurrection  to run afoul of that provision. Unruh raged against the Colorado effort again in a Sept. 13 article:

Leftists in Colorado have filed a lawsuit trying to finagle a way to use the 14th Amendment to keep President Donald Trump off the 2024 presidential ballot.

"The Left is desperate to keep Donald Trump off the ballot in various key states by arguing that an obscure provision of the 14th Amendment disqualifies Donald Trump from even running from office," explained a report at the American Center for Law and Justice.

They're using a provision that was adopted after the Civil War that banned those who tried to overthrow the government from returning and being officers.

The ACLJ said the "brazen" attempt to eliminate the choice of Trump for voters reveals the "desperate" attitude of Democrats.

The Colorado case, by six voters and the leftist Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, named Donald Trump and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a far-left activist who claims Trump is a "liar with no respect for the Constitution," as defendants.

But the plaintiffs left out the Colorado Republican Committee.

"This is where the ACLJ comes in. It is the state party, not the Colorado secretary of state, that decides who the Republican nominees are going to be in the presidential election. CREW is trying to circumvent the Republican Party and deny it the chance to defend its own ability to choose its candidates for president," the ACLJ reported.

Unruh didn't dispute the claim that Trump is a "liar with no respect for the Constitution."

An anonymously written Sept. 24 article freaked out about a similar effort in another state:

One of the schemes that Democrats are rallying around right now in their attempt to keep President Donald Trump off the 2024 ballot is by claiming he is ineligible.

They have, on their own, charged and convicted him of "insurrection," and they then claim that the 14th Amendment prevents him from being a candidate.

Their actions come irrespective of the fact that Trump has not, in fact, been charged with insurrection, much less convicted.

Nevertheless, they are suing various states to try to eliminate him as a possible opponent to the octogenarian Joe Biden, whose verbal and mental stumbles appear to multiple each day.

The latest fight has erupted in Oklahoma, where the American Center for Law and Justice says it has asked a court to be allowed to represent the state GOP, which was left out of the case by Democrats.

Unruh rehashed it again in a Sept. 29 article touting how Newt Gingrich claims that Trump will be the Republican nominee:

Democrats are claiming that the 14th Amendment, which bans those guilty of "insurrection" from taking office again, and came in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Leftists charge that Trump should not be on the ballot because of the protest-turned-riot on Jan. 8, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol.

Key problems with that argument are that the law can be read to exclude presidents, and Trump never has been charged, much less convicted, of insurrection.

Gingrich said that movement typifies "how terrified" the left is of a Trump candidacy – and presidency.

WND also republished a couple outside articles making similar arguements against invoking the amendment:

WND also published a Sept. 6 column by Betsy McCaughey complaining about the effort:

Innocent until proven guilty. That's a fundamental right in America, at least until now.

Anti-Trump groups determined to disqualify the leading Republican candidate for president are urging state election officials across the U.S. to remove Donald Trump from the ballot, claiming he's an "insurrectionist." They're citing an arcane clause in the 14th Amendment, written after the Civil War, that disqualifies anyone who "engaged in insurrection" against the United States from holding public office.

Here's the hitch. Trump has never been convicted of insurrection, and none of his prosecutors – not Jack Smith nor Fani Willis – is charging him with insurrection. The House of Representatives impeached him, accusing him of insurrection, but he was acquitted. So, zero convictions, one acquittal.

Even so, left-wing group Free Speech For People has sent letters to state election officials, including the co-chairs of the New York State Board of Elections, labeling Trump an insurrectionist and telling these officials they have a duty to remove Trump from the ballot, just as they would be obligated to remove any presidential aspirant who had not reached the age of 35 or was not a natural born citizen.

Under this scheme, if Trump wants to be on the ballot, he'll have to go to court and prove his innocence.

In short, guilty until proven innocent. That's as un-American as it gets. Whether you like Trump or loathe him, you should be concerned.

Again, the Constitution does not require that a person be convicted of insurrection to be barred from office.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2023 2:32 PM EDT

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