Judge Rules Trump Had the Purpose of Inciting Insurrection on January 6

Thus far, I haven’t engaged with the lawsuits attempting to keep Trump off the ballot under the Fourteenth Amendment. I think people absolutely have the right to make the case Trump’s actions on January 6 disqualify him from being President. But the only decisions that will matter on this front are what various Supreme Courts have to say and whether the Republican Party chooses to nominate Trump notwithstanding the risk he’ll be disqualified (to say nothing of whether Trump is disqualified in one of the six states that will really decide the election).

But Colorado Judge Sarah Wallace’s opinion finding that Trump did engage in incitement, but can’t be disqualified because the President is not clearly an “officer” under the Fourteenth Amendment, is worth reading.

The Court concludes, based on its findings of fact and the applicable law detailed above, that Trump incited an insurrection on January 6, 2021 and therefore “engaged” in insurrection within the meaning of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. First, the Court concludes that Trump acted with the specific intent to disrupt the Electoral College certification of President Biden’s electoral victory through unlawful means; specifically, by using unlawful force and violence. Next, the Court concludes that the language Trump employed was likely to produce such lawlessness.


The Court concludes that Trump acted with the specific intent to incite political violence and direct it at the Capitol with the purpose of disrupting the electoral certification. Trump cultivated a culture that embraced political violence through his consistent endorsement of the same. He responded to growing threats of violence and intimidation in the lead-up to the certification by amplifying his false claims of election fraud. He convened a large crowd on the date of the certification in Washington, D.C., focused them on the certification process, told them their country was being stolen from them, called for strength and action, and directed them to the Capitol where the certification was about to take place.


His inaction during the violence and his later endorsement of the violence corroborates the evidence that his intent was to incite violence on January 6, 2021 based on his conduct leading up to and on January 6, 2021. The Court therefore holds that the first Brandenburg factor has been established.


The Court holds there is scant direct evidence regarding whether the Presidency is one of the positions subject to disqualification. The disqualified offices enumerated are presented in descending order starting with the highest levels of the federal government and descending downwards. It starts with “Senator or Representatives in Congress,” then lists “electors of President and Vice President,” and then ends with the catchall phrase of “any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State.” U.S. CONST. amend. XIV, § 3.


As a result, the Court holds that Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to Trump.

Wallace’s opinion is best understood as a punt to Colorado’s Supreme Court: a finding of facts which they will eventually decide how to apply. She says as much in a footnote: She made the finding of fact that Trump did engage in insurrection so the Colorado Supreme Court can resolve any appeal without coming back to her.

The Court is denying Petitioners the relief they request on legal grounds. Because of the Parties’ extraordinary efforts in this matter, the Court makes findings of facts and conclusions of law on all remaining issues before it. The Court does so because it is cognizant that to the extent the Colorado Supreme Court decides to review this matter, it may disagree with any number of the legal conclusions contained in this Order and the Orders that precede it. The Court has endeavored to give the Colorado Supreme Court all the information it needs to resolve this matter fully and finally without the delay of returning it to this Court.

But it’s also a preview of Trump’s January 6 trial.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Wallace’s ruling is that she found, over and over, that Trump’s side did not present evidence to fight the claim of insurrection. Trump’s legal expert, Robert Delahunty (who contributed to some of the most outrageous War on Terror OLC opinions), presented no definition of insurrection that wouldn’t include January 6. Kash Patel presented no evidence to back his claim that Trump intended to call out 10,000 members of the National Guard. Trump presented no evidence that criminal conviction was required before disqualification. There was no evidence presented that Trump did not support the mob’s purpose.

Once Wallace dismissed Kash (and Katrina Pierson’s) claims that Trump intended to call the National Guard, all Trump had left was Brandenburg: a claim that his speech did not count as incitement, the same claim Trump has made in his efforts to defeat gags, the same claim Trump attempted to use to get Judge Chutkan to throw out any reference of the mob in his January 6 indictment.

Wallace used three things to show that Trump did intend to incite the mob.

First, she relied heavily on the testimony of Chapman University (!!!) professor Peter Simi, who described how Trump used the coded language of the far right to endorse violence. She mapped out what Trump added into his January 6 speech. And she talked about how Trump’s later statements — about Pence, and telling the mob he loved them — ratified their violence (an argument Amit Mehta also made), which Wallace used to distinguish Trump from Charles Evers.

As I have shown, Trump has tried to simply wish away the role of the mob in his indictment, a wish that Tanya Chutkan already rejected. Judge Wallace’s opinion makes it clear that’s all Trump has.

86 replies
      • emptywheel says:


        I would appreciate it if you stick to your own post on this rather than be an asshole in mine. You have had your say.

        • emptywheel says:


          Last I checked I had asked POLITELY for you to refrain from littering this post. Please refrain from doing so.

        • bmaz says:

          No, you did not “politely ask”, you just decreed so. I have spent 17 years of my life supporting you. If this is your response, then I do not know what is going on.

        • Rime of the ancient lurker says:

          I have been following you two since the days of firedog lake. I’ve learned a lot the from this blog over the years. I hope you two can recapture the hopeful spirit of July 12, 2011. Peace.

        • bmaz says:

          You sound like an assuming jackass.

          And your current post is not worth much. Try to do better in the future.

      • Joseph Gasparrini says:

        Yeah, right. Judicial decisions after a trial court heard the witnesses and the evidence don’t mean “jack shit” in a constitutional democracy like the one set up by Washington, Jefferson , Madison and Franklin. (What’s wrong with you?? Really bad indigestion??)

        • dannyboy says:

          In this instance, I do not believe that it is due to differences over the Law. Let me explain: I had a difficult rentry here with bmaz and took a breather to just observe, in order to get to the bottom of it. What I concluded during this “time out” period is that emptywheel is both a legal analysis forum and a political analysis forum (kind of what makes it unique). bmaz and I were butting our heads (which hurts!) because each of us were coming from our own perspective (now, for a confession that will alienate everyone else here: I don’t care too much for The Law (another disclaimer, my family is composed of very successful (read: Senior attorneys). With that said, I was always considering things from “How they Should Be” rather than “How Does The Law Decide It To Be”. There is an inherrant frission on this site, which kinda’ makes it interesting.

        • dannyboy says:

          I was too naive and optimistic when I wrote this. Now that I have returned to commenting, I see how this bad attitude poisons the discussion.

          My Replies just get censured to save his face. Wow

        • bmaz says:

          I’m sorry, did nobody get around to your useless shit quick enough? I did respond. For probably the last time. Nobody here gets paid, so you can fuck the hell off.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      Short answer, no. A hearing is not the same as a trial. Let’s consider the hypothetical of our bozo judge in Amarillo ruling Biden or any other D candidate as tainted because they allegedly played footsie with the Russians / Chinese / demon du jour based on reporting in the RWNM like Breitbart (which was cited recently in a court filing) and therefore is giving aid and comfort to the enemies.

      To be fair, I’m not so sure the oath which does include the pledge to ‘protect and defend’ the Constitution would not apply here for a Constitutionally defined office. Right ruling, I think wrong reasoning, but IANAL.

  1. Ebenezer Scrooge says:

    I’m not even sure if Trump has Brandenburg on his side. Brandenburg is a constitutional protection of speech. The 1st Amendment thus displaces any statute to the contrary. The 14th Amendment is a constitutional disability imposed on insurrectionists. The 1st Amendment can’t displace the 14th. The 14th is more specific and later adopted. By ordinary principles of interpretation, it wins.

    • emptywheel says:

      That’s not the argument. Trump did not, himself, attack cops. Wallace laid out that his incitment constituted “engaging” in insurrection. But to do that, she had to distinguish Trump’s speech from something covered under Brandenburg.

      • Matt Foley says:

        Scene from movie “Collateral”:
        Jamie Foxx looking at dead body then at Tom Cruise: “You killed him!”
        Tom Cruise: “No, I shot him. The bullets and the fall killed him.”

        • gruntfuttock says:

          It’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop at the bottom.

          An old gag, I think, but I don’t know the original source. Butch & Sundance?

        • Mycotropic says:

          In the US military, if your parachute fails to deploy and you die because of that then the official report (in 1986 anyway) would be death due to Rapid Deceleration Trauma.

        • Sean Farley says:

          My brother, a former P-3 pilot, always bemused jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. A common flyer perspective.

  2. harpie says:

    I’m not going to be able to spend enough time on this right now,
    but I just want to say the I am very glad that Wallace compared TRUMP’s written speech to the speech as delivered, and that she included paragraph 139:

    [p44] 139. The statement that the alleged voter fraud “allowed” his supporters “to go by very different rules,” was not in the prepared speech. Exs. 22, p. B20; 49; 157.

    That one has been making my blood boil for a very long time:


    [TRUMP]: “When you catch somebody in a fraud, you are allowed to go by very different rules.”

    • gruntfuttock says:

      That ‘different rules’ line makes my blood boil too. It’s on a par with his claim that the (also imaginary) weaponisation of the legal system against him by his enemies justifies his utterly shameless promise to do the same if he gets reelected. He’s very much a two-wrongs-make-me-right sort of guy.

      And gag orders are a no-win: don’t impose a gag order and he is inciting citizen’s arrests of judges and other legal professionals for doing their job; impose one and he’s whining that his first amendment rights are being stolen from him. Either way, his base are lapping it up. Victimisation is what he does better than anything else.

      I trust that the courts keep calm and get on with doing their jobs.

      • ryanrs says:

        Trump’s attorneys must have had to explain the crime-fraud exception to him a thousand times. My theory is that Trump was reciting a line from one of those little talks.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      harpie, I found this gratifying too. Trump’s Law: I will make up a transgression on your part that excuses my own far worse transgressions forever.

    • Purple Martin says:

      Yup. And From the AP, another example we all remember of the pride he takes in throwing out rules:

      Trump rebuked for call to suspend Constitution over election.
      Associated Press | HOPE YEN | December 4, 2022

      WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump faced rebuke Sunday from officials in both parties after calling for the “termination” of parts of the Constitution over his lie that the 2020 election was stolen….

      “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” he wrote. “Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”

  3. RMD says:

    Dr. Wheeler, do you consider that this judge is expressly kicking this up to the Colorado Supreme Court to rule, as alluded to in footnote 12, p.25?

    12. The Court is denying Petitioners the relief they request on legal grounds. Because of the Parties’ extraordinary efforts in this matter, the Court makes findings of facts and conclusions of law on all remaining issues before it.
    The Court does so because it is cognizant that to the extent the Colorado Supreme Court decides to review this matter, it may disagree with any number of the legal conclusions contained in this Order and the Orders that precede it.
    The Court has endeavored to give the Colorado Supreme Court all the information it needs to resolve this matter fully and finally without the delay of returning it to this Court. (p.25)

  4. Sussex Trafalgar says:

    Section Three of the 14th Amendment includes the following: “,or as an officer of the United States,”

    The Colorado Judge appears to believe that neither the President nor the Vice-President are officers of the United States.

    So, what is the definition of an officer? Typically, an officer is the incumbent of an office, a person who has an obligation of carrying out the responsibilities and functions of an office.

    Attorneys, judges, court clerks, police officers are considered officers of the court; therefore, it seems the president and vice-president are officers of the United States.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      Her rationale is based on the descending list of those to whom Section 3 applies, starting at “Senators.” She calls the portion you refer to as a “catch all” category. And I don’t think she’s convinced that it can’t apply, only that she wants the CO SC to make that decision.

      I find the Amendment more problematic in an area I’m surprised the defendants didn’t make note of: that the Amendment, in Section 5, delegates to Congress the job of codifying its intention:

      “The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

      My understanding is that there’s scant purchase in the US Code specific to the proscriptions the14th outlines in Section 3. That’s more problematic, imo, than deciding whether it’s right to include the POTUS as subject to its restrictions.

      That aside, I’m amazed that no one seems to be mentioning, as signifying Trump’s J6 speech-related *intention* (as relates to the DC J6 case especially), the fact that the Park Service, in issuing the Eclipse rally permit, actually made one of its conditions that there would be no marching down PA Ave as part of it. Maybe I’m missing something obvious, as is my wont.

      • tje.esq@23 says:

        Bruce – RE: your ‘Section 3 is not self-executing because of Section 5’ argument — District Judge Wallace does address, but very briefly. It’s easy to miss!

        See ¶ 8, #2 –Trump argues this in his 2nd MtD, which Wallace denies in ¶ 13, ruling that Colorado may consider candidate qualification because other “states can, and have, applied Section Three pursuant to state statutes without [the] federal enforcement legislation” (pg. 6) that Section 5 permits Congress to enact. (No examples or citations follow).

        I missed this on my first read too, and now am going back through, mindful of the phrases Wallace uses — Trump’s “Fourteenth Amendment Motion to Dismiss” for above, and “Trump PROCEDURAL Motion to Dismiss” for MtD 1 summed in ¶ 5 — to group Trump’s arguments.

        Regarding your last comment, try searching ‘Ellipse’ (shape similar to a circle) in all the mentions where you seek reference. I don’t know what ‘wont’ means — my vocabulary is not that vast — but I suspect your search WON’T be fruitful unless you seek to learn dates when the moon next passes in front of the earth’s shadow and where on earth you must be located to view the anomaly that results. :)

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          Thanks for the spellcheck, tje. Pretty funny and yes, we’re looking forward to April 8 here in ME next year.

          Thanks also for the Section 5 clarification. I definitely glossed over that brief ¶ 8 self-executing mention, though I had read her ¶ 13 denial several times and found it to be weak, not even directly addressing that question.

          SCOTUS will toss it (if the CO SC decides Trump is on the hook and if it then gets appealed to them) via Section 5 I’m pretty sure, and the way it’s framed in ¶ 8 is wrong anyway: the entirety of the Amendment is not self-executing, Sections 3 and 4 being the portions of it that haven’t been properly codified by Congress — and both of those sections are demonstrably non-enabled thereby no matter how hard we wish they were, it seems to me. It took the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act to enable Sections 1 and 2.

    • HardyWeinberg3 says:

      Hard to believe anyone who swears an oath before taking a federal o̶f̶f̶i̶c̶e̶ job is not an officer.

      • John B. says:

        He is obviously an officer. Every elected official is an officer of that locality or municipality. It’s plain language and easy to understand. He was the highest officer in the highest office of the United States. And he planned and directed an attack on the Capitol with the sole purpose of interfering in the election of Joe Biden to that office and disenfranchising millions of Americans of their votes. And we all witnessed this. Let’s not make it any harder than it needs to be, Bmaz included.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Arguing by analogy doesn’t go very far in constitutional interpretation. Nothing is as obvious as you would have it. And I believe your pen name is less than the required eight character minimum.

        • John B. says:

          I have had this pen name since firedoglake and my point is this is not hard. Most people can see that and arguing that somehow this is more complex than it is does not help.

          [Moderator’s note: Since it’s come up, you’re going to have to change your username to meet the 8-character minimum. You do not have +1000 comments under your belt on top of +10 plus years; you only meet the latter requirement. Furthermore, you know bloody well just how common the name “John” is let alone how common surnames are beginning with B; commenters on this site cannot see what we moderators can to validate your identity. It’s now been over a year since this requirement was enacted, you’ve had ample time to address this. /~Rayne]

        • Ithaqua0 says:

          To emphasize the point, my actual first name is John and my actual last name begins with B, but I am not (also) the John B. above.

        • John Gurley says:

          Article 2, Section 4: [The President] shall be removed from Office on Impeachment…

          So the Prez is not just a holder, but a removee, as well..

        • Rayne says:

          Wait…though the premise is wrong because POTUS is only removed after impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate, that phrase is critical.

          If POTUS can be removed from an office, he is an officeholder. An officer.

          As Commander in Chief, he was definitely the highest officer of our nation’s military.

          Ugh. This needs to go to SCOTUS and if not resolved satisfactorily, then through a constitutional amendment.

        • Harry Eagar says:

          I am not an originalist but do note that Americans for the first century or so if the Republic commonly referred to the president as the chief magistrate. If lesser magistrates are officers — a proposition I doubt anyone wants to dispute — then the chief must also be an officer.

          This has got to be the silliest argument of the Age of Trump,

      • JVOJVOJVO says:

        Even harder to believe that the authors and enactors of the 14th Am didn’t want it to apply to POTUS and VPOTUS.

  5. sohelpmedog says:

    Wallace appears to be a competent and careful jurist. While at first blush it may seem ludicrous to say that the President is not an officer of the United States under this clause of the Amendment, it is also ludicrous to think that the President would or even could engage in insurrection against the very government that he was the chief executive of. I imagine that the framers of the 14th Amendment never contemplated such an event. (I can’t imagine anyone else could either.)
    It would be most ludicrous however to conclude that the intent was to exempt a President who engaged in insurrection from holding office.

    • Scott_in_MI says:

      I’m inclined to think that the drafters of the 14A could readily imagine a case where a Congressional district or even an entire state in the former Confederacy might elect an insurrectionist to federal office, but they could not imagine that a former insurrectionist could swing the requisite *nationwide* support to succeed in the Electoral College. Obviously the situation as we have it currently was not top-of-mind for them.

      • Ithaqua0 says:

        They would have to be a collection of absolute morons, though. The idea that they would deliberately leave this loophole there boggles the mind. And if they didn’t do it deliberately, then it isn’t there, on a plain reading of the amendment.

        • Bombay Troubadour says:

          The 14th drafters would never have imagined a Potus saying or doing a laundry list of Trump stuff. The drafters were obviously not morons. Given the context of those involved and their intent of not letting bad people hold govt. office; any of the 14th drafters describing a possible future Potus-planned J6 scenario, would themselves be considered moronic or insane. imho.

      • P J Evans says:

        I doubt that anyone, whether framer or amender, thought there would ever be a president who would incite an insurrection in order to continue in office after losing an election.

        • Epicurus says:

          It’s slightly different of course but the amenders would have been well aware of former VP Burr’s attempt to “”effect a separation of the western Part of the United States” from the rest of the country” (from The American Experience, The Burr Conspiracy). Given this escapade and the recent Civil War, I would guess the amenders could imagine quite a bit.

        • Ithaqua0 says:

          I would be truly astonished if they didn’t. The whole point of the system of checks and balances is to protect against human’s natural tendency to accrue and misuse power for their own ends. The Civil War had just been fought because a large section of the country incited an insurrection after losing an election so they could continue to have control over (their) government.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      … it is also ludicrous to think that the President would or even could engage in insurrection against the very government that he was the chief executive of. I imagine that the framers of the 14th Amendment never contemplated such an event. (I can’t imagine anyone else could either.)

      Although I can’t speak to what the framers contemplated, anyone with a passing familiarity with Latin American history over the last 200 years would have foreseen the possibilityfor an autogolpe in the U.S.

    • Ebenezer Scrooge says:

      You can’t expect too much consistency from the drafters of the Constitution. If you read Article I, Section 3, clauses 4&6 literally, guess who presides over the impeachment of the Vice-President? Why, the Vice-President, of course!

  6. HardyWeinberg3 says:

    It seems like the confederates all affirmatively swore an oath to their insurrection while tfg tried to maintain plausible deniability. What a lightweight.

  7. Carl Weinschenk says:

    Non lawyer here: It seems ridiculous to spend hours parsing whether or not the FFs intended to include the president as an officer of the US in an era when a vague sentence regarding a well-regulated militia can be contorted to mean that every whack job can have an AK.

  8. ExRacerX says:

    Both-sidesism can be irksome, but sometimes there really ARE two sides to a story:

    1) The Court found Trump to be involved the insurrection, but…

    2) …also found that doesn’t disqualify him from being on the ballot.

    • gruntfuttock says:

      You took me back to my old maths classes. After a little revision I find that the associative law does not work for division.

      Which is to say, Trump can be factually associated with any old shit but it might have no legal repercussions on his ability to tear society apart ;-)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      No. The court found that Trump was not an “officer” as defined in the Amendment, which meant its disability did not include him. A very different thing. The appeals courts will dissect both her conclusions.

      • Parker Dooley says:

        I was afraid that the judge might be suffering from an advanced form of literalism (e.g. don’t invite her to go out & eat Chinese). However after listening to Judge Luttig and Prof Tribe discussing the case this AM on “Velshi”, perhaps she constructed this interpretation specifically to ensure that it is reviewed at appeal. IANAL, of course.

      • SVFranklinS says:

        If I read this, that’s not quite it – “there is scant evidence” does not mean that Trump is NOT an officer, but there is no clear evidence that he IS an officer.
        It is a different point.

        And I do think the 14th A framers would find it very hard to imagine, in their day and age, someone with a clear history of (e.g. Confederate) insurrection making it past the party/nomination process, let alone surviving nationwide public scrutiny. So this is new territory.

        Easy to imagine this judge wanting to punt, if there is no clear evidence he IS what is meant by an “officer.” Put the decision on someone else’s shoulders. But the finding of fact here seems like a very big deal.

  9. Bryan_08SEP2022_2253h says:

    Did anyone else find the judges fairly long and detailed discussion of why the January 6 Committee report is legally acceptable evidence to be interesting? It seems to be a very difficult to overturn incorporation of the entirety of the report into the factual record.

  10. WilliamOckham says:

    This decision might be worrying to a few folks who are clearly covered by the 14th Amendment, like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. Because if Trump engaged in insurrection, they were part of it and stuck with Trump after the violence.

    • P’villain says:

      OT, but I lived in Missouri in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, and I can’t believe the state I knew then would put up with a preening poseur like Josh Hawley, even though he was John Danforth’s protege. What happened to the sensible, salt-of-the-earth Missouri conservatives (outside of St. Louis and Columbia) I knew back then?

      • Fran of the North says:

        Your question could be broadened to all 50 states.

        By and large, those salt-of-the-earth conservatives have been taken to the far end of the political spectrum, first by the Tea Party and most recently they have been MAGAized. Those that haven’t have been silenced by the crazies that surround them.

  11. BriceFNC says:

    I’d point out a further provision of the 14th Amendment must be considered.

    What happens if, following a Trump victory in 2024, VP Harris acknowledges his Electoral College victory on January 6, 2025. Constitutional stallwart Jamie Raskin then immediately calls for the Congressional remedy to be imposed and Trump lacks the two thirds support in each chamber to over ride Article 3? Would the next highest electoral vote recipient then be sworn in on January 20th?

    Or, could the Supreme Court then impose their preference as President? Please recall we have already had one President imposed upon our democracy by Justice Scalia due to the impracticality of counting all Florida votes in a timely manner!

  12. Critter7 says:

    A well-written and well-reasoned opinion by the court, as I see it. Thank you, Dr. Marcy, for calling the details to our attention.

    Paragraphs 129-145, in Section D: The Speech at the Ellipse under “Findings of Fact”, missed what I see as an obvious piece of evidence for his apparent intent for the mob to interfere with certification: He told them “we must stop the steal” and “we will stop the steal”. What steal was he referring to? The so-called stolen election, of course, his speech made that clear. So, he was telling them that “we must” and “we will” stop the certification of Biden’s victory.

  13. Purple Martin says:

    Section 3’s intent in using the words, officer and support has been a commonly repeated part of the legal debate since its beginning. Ilya Somin has an interesting, detailed point-by-point analysis at Vohlok, titled Colorado Court Rules Trump Engaged in Insurrection, but Cannot Be Disqualified Under Section Three Because the President is not an “Officer of the United States.”

    Somin’s hypothesis is provided by the opening paragraph’s last sentence:

    Yesterday, a Colorado trial court ruled that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection, but still cannot be disqualified under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, because the president is not an “officer of the United States.” The Court thereby rejected relatively more plausible arguments against disqualifying Trump, but accepted a very weak one.

    It might have been motivated by a fellow contributor’s slighter earlier post quoting the ‘implausible’ part of the decision, but supporting it with logic pretty much limited to See? Told you so! See? See? (btw, I don’t recommend the comments section…unmoderated and pulling primarily from the MAGA part of the Reason crowd.)

  14. PostToaster says:

    The framers of the 14th Amendment obviously intended to keep insurrectionists out of the higher levels of the federal government. Among the highest of all such offices is that of President.

    Had the framers for some unfathomable, undescribed, and as yet undiscovered reason wanted to exclude the President from this restriction THEY WOULD HAVE SAID SO IN ALL CAPS because (1) that would be a stunning exclusion and (2) everything else they said, when read in plain English, was painstakingly inclusive.

    To argue on no basis that some words *might* mean other than what they commonly mean is sophistry. There is no reasonable doubt about the framers’ intent.

    The problem isn’t applicability to the office of President – it’s in how having engaged in insurrection or giving aid and comfort is to be determined. The framers didn’t address that because they didn’t have to.

    Ideally either Congress would fix the Amendment or SCOTUS would interpret it usefully e.g. that a criminal conviction for sedition is disqualifying.

    It’s a mess but it is in the Constitution and its intent is clear.

    {prolly a dupe… earlier attempts to post this vanished}

    [Moderator’s note: your earlier version which you attempted to publish 3 minutes ahead of this one was stuck in moderation. Because it was a duplicate it has been discarded. Allow us volunteer moderators adequate time to read the moderation queue and clear comments including yours; for some of us it’d dinner time and you may have to wait between bites. /~Rayne ]

    • PostToaster says:

      I’m referring to the fact that I posted it twice yesterday (or maybe even the prior evening) and neither of those ever appeared.

      • bmaz says:

        Lol, no, you are not going to get any traction here with that whiny stuff. We do the best we can and do not need your 12 comment BS. Your type of input seems to be too frequent lately. Spare everybody.

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