The Sweep and Force of Section Three

(Note: I would really appreciate it that any participants in this thread, BEFORE they participate in this thread, READ the linked document. ALL 126 pdf pages. The thread is ABOUT the linked document, so I think it is a fair request on my part that a person at least read it before commenting on it.)

I have quoted the abstract, but the document can only be fully understood by reading it in full.

I would note that the two authors are conservative and members of the Federalist Society. So that kills the kneejerk partisan (but libs) nonsense right off the bat. The two authors are about as conservative as it is possible to be.

I will comment further below the link and the abstract.

Abstract: Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment forbids holding office by former office holders who then participate in insurrection or rebellion. Because of a range of misperceptions and mistaken assumptions, Section Three’s full legal consequences have not been appreciated or enforced. This article corrects those mistakes by setting forth the full sweep and force of Section Three. First, Section Three remains an enforceable part of the Constitution, not limited to the Civil War, and not effectively repealed by nineteenth century amnesty legislation. Second, Section Three is self-executing, operating as an immediate disqualification from office, without the need for additional action by Congress. It can and should be enforced by every official, state or federal, who judges qualifications. Third, to the extent of any conflict with prior constitutional rules, Section Three repeals, supersedes, or simply satisfies them. This includes the rules against bills of attainder or ex post facto laws, the Due Process Clause, and even the free speech principles of the First Amendment. Fourth, Section Three covers a broad range of conduct against the authority of the constitutional order, including many instances of indirect participation or support as “aid or comfort.” It covers a broad range of former offices, including the Presidency. And in particular, it disqualifies former President Donald Trump, and potentially many others, because of their participation in the attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election.

The authors do an incredible job of explaining Section Three in its historical context. They make an ironclad argument that Donald John Trump (and others) are already disqualified from holding office under the United States or any State.

The release of the paper is certainly as timely as can be. Lawsuits are already being filed, including in New Hampshire and this paper will definitely be of considerable aid to decision makers, be they executive or judicial. It is a must read for anybody who is called to make a judgement or ruling under Section Three.

I have read the entire paper and I agree with it in full. Both as to the sweep and force of Section Three itself, as well as to their exhaustive examination of what constitutes insurrection, rebellion and aid and comfort.

Discussion in this thread should relate to the concepts and arguments discussed by the authors in the paper, so again, it is really necessary to read the paper before commenting on it. :smile:

And I believe this paper to be of great importance, as it will likely be relied on, both by executive branch officials and jurists in the consideration of disqualification requests and lawsuits.

My posting of the abstract should also satisfy the community’s requirement for an explanation of what is at a linked document.

How desperate are some to prevent the people from electing Trump? That stream of consciousness exercise compares contesting an election to be the equivalent of the civil war.
We know of one case that amendment was built around. Taking the questioning of the results of an election through failed arguments as a disqualifying rebellion creates the paradox that if that author’s legal argument to keep out an elected Trump from taking office fails, then the author should be barred from ever holding office by his own theory.
He even recognizes the ridiculousness of his argument when he says if the electors vote for a person who is not qualified the. Congress cannoct reject the electors vote but the person cannot take office. He sees that he doesn’t want to make the same sort of argument to keep Trump out as Trump,was making, that congress can reject electors votes.
But the details don’t matter in his ludicrous arguments. What matters is the authoritarian extremes some are now taking to stop the 2024 electoral process less whom they consider the wrong candidate be selected by the people.


Political elitist anti-populists can join the Federalist Society. The two authors appear to be of that ilk. The battle-lines have changed. It is no longer Democrat vs. Republican, nor capitalist vs. Communist, nor progressive vs. Conservative. It is political elitist in the ruliing class serving their own and their big donors’ interests vs. populist representatives listening to and promoting the will of the people.against the elitist and donor big classes. The authors being conservative Republicans does not automatically put them on the side of the people against political elitism.

1 Like

The sheer stupidity in the hyperbole they choose is the icing on the cake.

Civil war? None of those losers have ever been in a fight a day in their lives. :rofl:


Not having read the whole thing yet, I’m not commenting on their argument, but I will once again point out this falsehood that all Trump was doing was “contesting the election”.

You know this isn’t true.

1 Like

I stop reading after OP quoted insurrection or rebellion…it wasn’t.

It was nothing more than protest of how election was handled…OP knows it, those so-called Constitutional lawyers know it, the media knows and so does forum libs know it.

And you know what…they had every right to protest specially because of all the question about how the election was handled.

As for reading before making a comment…don’t need too.

As for Social Science research…be careful.


Trump was challenging the pandemic rule changes…legally as he could.

I am not reading 160 pages of justification for committing election fraud even if the OP demands it.


It wasn’t a full-throated insurrection…but neither was it “just a protest”.

it was absolutely an attempt to reverse an election because the guy simply couldn’t accept that he lost.

Whether that’s section three-worthy I won’t comment on yet as I am still reading through their arguments.

The people should be smart enough to not let Trump near the Presidency again…that they might not be? Oh well…

And there is your bias right there.

If it was a insurrection charge him for it…old saying. Either ■■■■ or get the ■■■■ off the pot.

The fact that Trump wasn’t charged let alone convicted makes whatever those so-called experts irrelevant in court of law or public opinion IMO.


Not even the first time a mob disrupted a legislature in session.

Not even close.


2 days after Jan Michael Stokes Paulsen was calling for immediate impeachment of Trump.


Nope. No bias there.



The stupidest and most childish people cling on to those code words. Same crowd that rooted for the insurgents in Iraq are suddenly chest thumping patriots when it comes to Big (D)addy. :wink:


I got pretty much the response I expected.

Childish and petulant.

BTW, Section Three or not, Trump is never going to be President again.


Noticing that this 14th amendment ploy is childish, petulant and authoritarian is not childish and petulant.


You should all be ashamed of yourselves for not entertaining 160 pages of pure unadulterated (D)umbassery.


The United States Government was almost taken over by country bumpkins, armed with stick and stones.

The Secretary of Defense would’ve been forced to give Buffalo Boy the Nuclear Codes.

The Marines would’ve been forced to invade Mecca by the KKK.

Black people would be put in chains and forced to watch Leave It To Beaver.


Sarcasm…but I like sarcasm.


No, I seriously want to see that movie. It would be hilarious. Reality is so boring in comparison. lol