Forget Disqualified, Trump Was Never Qualified
All the talk about the disqualification of Trump ignores one key point, after 1/6, Donald Trump wasn't qualified to be on the ballot.
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Jamie Raskin Explains Why Trump Is Disqualified
People have been discussing whether or not Trump is disqualified from the 2024 ballot for over a year, but it was at the end of the year on December 31, that Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) delivered the best explanation of why Trump is disqualified.
Video of Rep. Raskin:
Here is the transcript from CNN:
DANA BASH: You have heard Chris Sununu saying it's just politics. It's not just Republicans, though, coming out against this. We have heard Democrats and independents as well saying that they're not comfortable with this. Are you comfortable with one state official making a unilateral decision to take a presidential candidate off the ballot?
REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Well, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, so we're all governed in our democracy under the rules of the Constitution.
And it was actually two very conservative legal scholars who wrote the best, most authoritative law review article on the whole thing, saying that Donald Trump is clearly disqualified from being on the ballot because he participated in insurrection.
So, this becomes a test for the originalists and the textualists on the Supreme Court. And I think all of the justices from left to right call themselves textualists and originalists. The language of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is very clear.
It says, if you have sworn an oath to support the Constitution and violated the oath by engaging in insurrection or rebellion, you can never hold public office again. And the original purposes of it are equally clear, because, actually, when the language was first authored by the radical Republicans in Congress, it was very broad.
And it said, if you have participated in secession or insurrection, you can never vote again. And when it got over to the Senate, they said, that's way too broad. Let's focus in on the worst offenders, people who'd actually sworn an oath to the Constitution and then breached the oath by trying to overthrow the government, and we will make sure those people never serve in office again.
They can vote again. Donald Trump can vote forever as long as he lives. But he has disqualified himself. And we have a number of disqualifications in the Constitution for serving as president, for example, age. I mean, I have got a colleague who's a great young politician, Maxwell Frost. He's 26.
He can't run for president. Now, would we say that that's undemocratic? Well, that's the rules of the Constitution. If you don't like the rules, of the Constitution, change the Constitution.
Raskin’s argument that the Constitution has a number of disqualifications, and that we can’t start ignoring them when it suits us is both simple and profound.
Rep. Raskin’s comments lead to the question of whether we are arguing about the right thing.
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