The Supreme Court Must Unanimously Strike Down Trump’s Ballot Removal

Lawrence Lessig at Slate: Donald Trump is an astoundingly dangerous candidate for president. He is a pathological liar, with clear authoritarian instincts. Were he elected to a second term, the damage he would do to the institutions of our republic is profound. His reelection would be worse than any political event in the history of America — save the decision of South Carolina to launch the Civil War.

That fact has motivated many decent lawyers and law professors to scramble for ways to ensure that Trump is not elected. On Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court gave these lawyers new hope by declaring that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment bars Donald Trump from the Colorado ballot. That decision will certainly reach the United States Supreme Court as quickly as any. And if that court is to preserve its integrity, it must, unanimously, reject the Colorado Supreme Court’s judgment. Because Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not apply to Donald Trump.

The puzzle in Section 3 is that it seems as if the framers of that text were just sloppy in their enumeration. The clause bars insurgents from being “a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or [to] hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State.” The obvious question is why they would enumerate “Senator or Representative” — not to mention “elector of President” — but not the president. (And) Defenders of the Section 3 argument suggest this was a mere drafting error but that the clause applies to the president nonetheless, since the president occupies an “office … under the United States.” And in any case, these lawyers argue, it would be “absurd” to read the clause to apply to every elected official, including electors for president, but not the president. More here >