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Powerline Blog
Power Line
24 Feb 2024
John Hinderaker


NextImg:Democrat Denialists

In 2001, 2005 and 2017, some Democrat House members objected to the certification of electoral votes for the winning Republican presidential candidate. Those objections, while “denialist,” were only symbolic. But Democrat leaders in the House are now suggesting that if they control that body following November’s election–as they well might–they may refuse to allow a victorious Donald Trump to take office.

The Atlantic did the original reporting, behind a paywall. This is from the Election Law Blog:

Murray and other legal scholars say that, absent clear guidance from the Supreme Court, a Trump win could lead to a constitutional crisis in Congress. Democrats would have to choose between confirming a winner many of them believe is ineligible and defying the will of voters who elected him. …

In interviews, senior House Democrats would not commit to certifying a Trump win, saying they would do so only if the Supreme Court affirms his eligibility. But during oral arguments, liberal and conservative justices alike seemed inclined to dodge the question of his eligibility altogether and throw the decision to Congress.

“That would be a colossal disaster,” Representative Adam Schiff of California told me. “We already had one horrendous January 6. We don’t need another.” …

The choice that Democrats would face if Trump won without a definitive ruling on his eligibility was almost too fraught for Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland to contemplate. He told me he didn’t know how he’d vote in that scenario. As we spoke about what might happen, he recalled the brutality of January 6. “There was blood all over the Capitol in the hypothetical you posit,” Raskin, who served on the January 6 committee with Schiff, told me….

The Democrats have become so insane on the subject of Donald Trump that it is hard to know which of their mutterings to take seriously. But if Trump wins the election and a Democrat-controlled House refuses to certify his election on the ground that he is an “insurrectionist” under the 14th Amendment, we will be past the point of a constitutional crisis. If that happens, the only realistic path forward will be disunion, possibly accompanied by civil war, but preferably not.

This is one reason why the Supreme Court should put the 14th Amendment theory out of its misery, once and for all. It is obvious that the drafters of that amendment meant the just-concluded Civil War, in which 600,000 Americans lost their lives, when they referred to “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States. In contrast, the January 6 protest was not one of the 50 most destructive riots of the last few years, and the only person killed was Ashli Babbitt. Not a single participant in the protest was arrested in possession of a firearm. Some insurrection!

In the interest of preserving the Republic, the Supreme Court should rule definitively that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not apply to Donald Trump.