The Fourteenth Amendment, the refuge of harried criminal defense lawyers who belatedly throw it in their motions to suppress to impress the Judge that the US Constitution's Bill of Rights applies to the States, may just be what we need in these troubling times.
We've all read the first section, but did you know there are five sections of the fourteenth? And the third section seems most appealing these days to a weary blogger's eyes:
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. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
So what were they thinking when they drafted this section? We think they were contemplating today. No, not the Internet and Starbucks and Kardashians, but we surmise the drafters were contemplating a situation in which a populist with antidemocracy ideas runs for office after trying to topple the government. Granted they probably did not contemplate stopping the reelection of a President who incited a rebellion, but they drafted the amendment broad enough to cover such an unforeseen situation.
Insurrectionists? They were ready for that. Nuts wearing furs and horns rampaging through Congress and egged on by the President? Probably not.