OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Democrats are continuing to look for ways to punish Republicans with an eye towards keeping control of Congress amid early polling indicating a political bloodbath come the November midterm elections.
According to Breitbart News, some Democrats are attempting to exploit the Jan. 6 anniversary of the U.S. Capitol riot to disqualify Republicans who supported challenges to the 2020 electoral results, which the left has done in every GOP presidential victory dating back to George W. Bush’s win over then-Vice President Al Gore.
“The effort, spearheaded by Russia hoaxer Marc Elias, aims to use a provision of the post-Civil War 14th Amendment that was crafted to disqualify former Confederates or anyone who ‘shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof’ from holding federal office,” Breitbart News noted.
Elias has pushed the strategy for months:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress…who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”-US Constitution
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) August 7, 2021
My prediction for 2022: Before the midterm election, we will have a serious discussion about whether individual Republican House Members are disqualified by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment from serving in Congress.
We may even see litigation. pic.twitter.com/pF7P2fw0kn
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) December 21, 2021
Elias is the main legal attack dog for the Democratic Party nationwide. He has also worked with national party leaders.
Other leftist groups including the misnamed “Free Speech for People” organization are also attempting to use this strategy, as the group noted this week in a press release:
Nonprofit public interest organizations Free Speech For People and Our Revolution today announced a partnership to urge Secretaries of State to bar elected officials who engaged in the January 6, 2021 insurrection from appearing on any future ballot.
“Secretaries of State have a duty to ensure that candidates who seek to appear on their state ballots meet the constitutional qualifications for serving in public office,” Alexandra Flores-Quilty, Campaign Director for Free Speech For People, said.
“Those who violated their oath of office by engaging in the violent January 6th insurrection do not meet these terms. Thus, we are urging election officials to make clear that insurrectionists such as President Trump and his Congressional allies are barred from ever again holding public office, as is required under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution,” she continued.
No one who allegedly engaged in criminal acts last year in connection with the Jan. 6 incident has been charged with “insurrection,” ‘rebellion,’ or any other sedition-related crime.
“On many levels, our democracy is under threat, and grassroots activists are ready to stand up to defend it,” addedPaco Fabián, Director of Campaigns for Our Revolution. “We need to demand that our election officers follow the rule of law and ensure that current and former elected officials who participated in the January 6th insurrection are barred from appearing on any future ballot.”
By ‘rule of law’ and the Constitution, lawmakers are allowed to challenge electoral results; there is an actual procedure for it in our founding document, and Republican lawmakers utilized it last year, albeit unsuccessfully.
Some Democrats have already begun demanding the disqualification of Republicans who merely signed legal briefs supporting election challenges in the courts. As liberal constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who opposes the disqualification effort, noted recently, the U.S. vehemently opposes such efforts in other countries, such as Iran.
Moreover, as has been shown repeatedly, many Democrats have objected to the certification of election results in the past, and Elias himself led the Democrats’ effort to plant the idea that Trump’s election in 2016 was illegitimate because of “Russia collusion.”
According to the Democrats’ new standard, many of their own — including President Joe Biden — would be disqualified.