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EXPLANATORY: After innocence, Trump 2024? Probably not so fast

WASHINGTON The acquittal of former President Donald Trump by the Senate in his impeachment trial may not be the end of the line for efforts to keep him from seeking the presidency again. If Trump chooses to run for the White House in 2024, opponents are likely to call for a constitutional provision passed after the Civil War in an effort to stop it. The Supreme Court may have the final say. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution disqualifies from future office any former elected officials and military officers who will be involved in insurgency or rebellion against the United States. Ratified in 1868, the language in Section 3 of the amendment was intended for the former civilian and military leaders of the Confederacy. It could apply to people who instigated or participated in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, legal scholars said, noting that a congressional committee to investigate the attack and lawsuits against Trump could help clarify his role. in deadly violence that day. If Trump runs again in 2024, I think we will most likely see good efforts to keep him out of the vote on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment, wrote Daniel Hemel, a law professor at the University of Chicago, in an email. But there is a lot of uncertainty about how it might happen and whether Congress or just state officials will get involved. ___ HOLDING CONFEDERATES FVE FROM THE OFFICE The drafters of the 14th Amendment wanted to keep former officials who joined the Confederation from resuming public service without a clear vote by Congress restoring their right. Section 3 was implemented for several years at both the state and federal levels, according to Gerald Magliocca, a professor at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. But in 1872, by two-thirds of the votes of the House and Senate, Congress lifted the ban on the majority that had been removed from office. Since then, it is fair to say, the provision has fallen into use. No one is really talking, said Laura F. Edwards, a professor of legal history at Princeton who studied the 14th Amendment. You have not had to talk about this since the Civil War. ___ HOW CAN I FOCUS AGAINST THE BODY At least two Democrats in Congress say they are working for it. Rep. Steven Cohen, D-Tenn., Said he is drafting legislation he hopes to unveil in the coming weeks that will allow the constitutional provision to be enforced against anyone linked to the Capitol violence last month. The bill would authorize the Department of Justice to file lawsuits against potential candidates and designate a federal court to handle any attempt to keep candidates out of voting, Cohen said. The Capitol riots to keep Congress from certifying the victory of President Joe Biden Electoral College was nearly a horrific and reprehensible act since Benedict Arnold, Cohen said, referring to Revolutionary War general who was a traitor to the cause. American. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Said in a statement that she is working on a measure that would prevent traitorous men such as Donald Trump and others from ever serving in a government they once sought to overthrow. The legislation would require Biden to sign. Congress could also pass a resolution stating that Trump and perhaps others will be disqualified from the next office, although, as Hemel noted, the non-binding resolution would be worth no more than the letter on which it was written. Even if Congress does nothing, however, state election officials, or even state courts, may say Trump cannot appear on their ballots because he engaged in the uprising, professors said. With or without congressional involvement, the issue would go to court, said Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Center of Responsibility. But I think it’s okay, proving a constitutional provision that has not been used often, Wydra said. ___ WHAT WILL THAT HAPPEN ATENHERE? Judges will have to answer three questions, Magliocca said. First, was there an uprising? Trump’s lawyers argued in the indictment trial that there was none, but Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell called the Jan. 6 events a failed uprising, and the term was repeatedly used by Democrats in the indictment process and was widely used by media. Merriam-Webster defines rebellion as an act or example of revolt against civil authority or an established government. “Second, did you involve Trump in the uprising? Here, too, Trump’s team and House prosecutors differ. The answer may depend on more information that may emerge from a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 riots, a high-profile lawsuit.” this week by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., against Trump or the Trump disqualification lawsuit, said Magliocca. We need a much bigger development of facts. Third, is Trump also covered by Section 3? does not explicitly mention the presidency, but Magliocca is among the legal scholars who believe Trump can be stopped.If the presidency were to be ruled out, former Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate top military commander Robert E. Lee would had been banned by most offices, but not by the presidency, he said. ___ P FINAL ANSWER After all, the Supreme Court will certainly not be asked to weigh in and perhaps in the heat of the campaign prey as the issue would probably only be raised if Trump announced his candidacy and sought to qualify for the vote. This development may not be to the liking of Chief Justice John Roberts. Roberts, who presided over the first trial for blaming Trump. Roberts has been keen to keep the court away from issues related to Trump’s unfounded allegations of election fraud, which were overwhelmingly rejected by courts and state election officials, and partisan political controversy whenever possible. “I do not think the potential to give the chief justice heartburn is a reason to avoid the implementation of the Constitution, but I’m sure he would be very unhappy to have this land in his court,” Wydra said. Another possibility, Magliocca suggested, is that the spectrum of the obligation to testify in court about his actions on January 6 may be enough to keep Trump from running for first place. ___ Associated Press writer Jessica Gresko contributed to this report.Mark Sherman, The Associated Press

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