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Friday, November 10, 2023
Newsmax Frets Over 14th Amendment Challenges To Trump's Candidacy
Topic: Newsmax

Like WorldNetDaily, Newsmax is annoyed that some are pressing the idea that Donald Trump should be removed from 2024 presidential election ballots because of a clause in the 14th Amendment that bars anyone engaging in "insurrection or rebellion" against the U.S. from holding public office. Newsmax actually reported on nacent efforts in this area in February 2021 -- a month after the Capitol riot -- in an article by Charlie McCarthy noting that "some Democrats have discussed invoking the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to keep Trump from office.

A July 7 article by Charles Kim groused that "political activist organizations" were pushing the idea in several states. Newsmax has noted some of those efforts as well, in araticles that skew toward pro-Trump sentiments:

Of course, Newsmax made sure to document Trump's own rantings on the subject, in a Sept. 5 article by Sandy Fitzgerald:

Former President Donald Trump is accusing states that are trying to use the 14th Amendment to disqualify him from the 2024 ballot of staging a "trick" to steal the election from him and give it to President Joe Biden.

"Almost all legal scholars have voiced opinions that the 14th Amendment has no legal basis or standing relative to the upcoming 2024 Presidential Election," Trump posted on his Truth Social page Monday night, reports The Washington Examiner.

"Like Election Interference, it is just another 'trick' being used by the Radical Left Communists, Marxists, and Fascists, to again steal an Election that their candidate, the WORST, MOST INCOMPETENT, & MOST CORRUPT President in U.S. history, is incapable of winning in a Free and Fair Election," he added.

Newsmax also gave airtime to a non-practicing attorney and former Fox News host to shoot down the idea, as noted in a Sept. 5 article by Jack Gournell:

Some opponents of former President Donald Trump who are trying to use the 14th Amendment to disqualify him from serving another term won't succeed because it doesn't apply in Trump's case, Megyn Kelly tells Newsmax.

First, Trump hasn't even been charged with insurrection, "nor can he be," Kelly, a former attorney and current radio host, said Tuesday on "Eric Bolling The Balance." A section of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that no person who has committed insurrection against the United States shall serve in any federal office.

But Kelly told Bolling that the amendment was clearly a provision designed to get at those who had participated in the Confederacy during the Civil War.


The amendment was meant to deal with a specific problem at that specific time, and "I think that will be reflected in any sane court decision," Kelly said. "I'll predict that right now easily, and it could be more than a 6-to-3 vote. ... It could be unanimous on this it's such an absurd argument. This is an act of desperation."

Like WND, Newsmax also published Betsy McCaughey's column complaining about the efforts. It found another person to bash the effort in a Sept. 8 article:

Colorado Republican Party Chair Dave Williams told Newsmax on Friday that efforts to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot in 2024 using the 14th Amendment is "laughable" but need to be watched.

"I think this is outrageous," Williams said on Newsmax's "National Report." "It's undemocratic, and it's apparent that there are a number of folks, especially in the Democrat Party, that are concerned that Donald Trump is a viable candidate, that Joe Biden is going to lose, and so they are engaging in election interference, and they have solicited the help of supposed Republicans — phony conservatives — to help keep a qualified candidate off the ballot."

"It's not constitutional, it's not democratic, and the Republican Party is not going to stand for it," he added.

Yes, invoking the Constitution is somehow "not constitutional."

Newsmax published a Sept. 25 wire article featuring Trump climing that his First Amendment free speech rights trump the 14th Amendment invocation, while an article that day by Fran Beyer cheered that "A push by activists to block former President Donald Trump from being on the 2024 ballot in several states has reportedly been a bust because officials are reluctant to act without any court guidance." In a Sept. 29 article, meanwhile, Nicole Wells seemed a little dismayed that the idea is catching on:

A slim majority of voters say that former President Donald Trump, who is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, is disqualified from doing so under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, according to a new Politico-Morning Consult poll.

Following questions on the Constitution and Trump’s behavior in the wake of the 2020 election, a 51% majority of voters said the 14th Amendment prohibits the former president from running again, versus 34% who said he is not disqualified from running.

In an unusual political twist, liberal activists allied with conservative attorneys have claimed that Trump is ineligible to run under the section of the 14th Amendment that states individuals “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States or who have “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” are barred from holding public office.

Another wire article that day noted the effort taking root in Michigan. An Oct. 2 wire article reported that the Supreme Court rejected one 14th Amendment challenge, and an Oct. 13 wire article noting the challenge was allowed to stand in Colorado. A Nov. 1 article by Charles Kim, weirdly placed in Newsmax's health-news vertical, reported on further developments in the Colorado case.

UPDATE: A Sept. 11 column by Deroy Murdock fretted about it as well:

This legal theory might make sense if Trump had been imprisoned for insurrection or rebellion. It might hold water, if he had been convicted of insurrection or rebellion.

This boomlet even might boast a thimble full of steam, if the Justice Department, a state attorney general, or some county prosecutor had indicted him for insurrection or rebellion.

Unfortunately for Trump haters, this never happened.

Murdock offered no evidence that the 14th Amendment requires a conviction or other legal action on insurrection or rebellion.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:32 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 15, 2023 7:27 PM EST

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