As the 2024 presidential race begins to heat up, a growing number of voices are calling for former President Donald Trump to be banned from running for the White House again. In a recent column for The Guardian, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich laid out his case for why Trump should be disqualified from seeking reelection.
At the heart of Reich’s argument is Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits officials from holding office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the government. Reich argues that Trump’s actions in the lead-up to and aftermath of the 2020 election constitute just such a rebellion, and therefore he should be barred from running in 2024.
“Trump’s post-election behavior was not just a violation of norms or ethics. It was an attempt to overthrow the government,” Reich wrote. “If that’s not a rebellion, I don’t know what is.”
Reich’s column comes amid growing concern over Trump’s potential candidacy in 2024. Despite losing the 2020 election, Trump has continued to insist that the outcome was rigged and has pushed baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. His supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to overturn the election results, leading to multiple deaths and a temporary halt to the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
Since then, Trump has faced multiple legal challenges related to his efforts to overturn the election. He is currently under investigation for potential criminal charges in New York and Georgia and has been implicated in a scheme to pay hush money to women who alleged affairs with him. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has accused prosecutors of trying to interfere with his political ambitions.
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Despite these challenges, Trump has continued to suggest that he will run for president again in 2024. He has already launched a website for his campaign and has held rallies in key primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Polls suggest that he remains popular among Republican voters, with one recent survey showing him leading the field by a wide margin.
Critics of Trump’s potential candidacy argue that he poses a danger to the country’s democratic institutions. They point to his repeated efforts to delegitimize the election, his support for the January 6 rioters, and his willingness to use lies and conspiracy theories to advance his political agenda.
“Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy, and he should never be allowed to hold office again,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in a recent interview with CNN. “We cannot allow him to continue to spread lies and conspiracy theories and foment violence.”
Some legal experts have weighed in on the debate as well, arguing that the 14th Amendment could provide a basis for banning Trump from running again. Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard, has said that Trump’s actions leading up to the January 6 riot could be seen as a form of insurrection or rebellion, and therefore could trigger the amendment’s prohibition on holding office.
Other experts, however, have been more skeptical of this argument. They note that the 14th Amendment was originally intended to bar former Confederates from holding office and that its language may not be broad enough to cover Trump’s situation.
Ultimately, the decision on whether to allow Trump to run again will likely be made by state election officials. Secretaries of state in each state are responsible for certifying candidates for the ballot, and they have broad discretion to reject candidates who do not meet certain qualifications. If enough officials decide that Trump’s actions make him ineligible to run, they could keep him off the ballot.
In the meantime, the debate over Trump’s potential candidacy is likely to continue. Supporters of the former