Imagine how thinly Trump’s attorneys must be stretched this week. As we reported yesterday, they just found out on Tuesday that they have only till next Monday, February 12, to file their request with the Supreme Court for an appeal in Jack Smith’s “election interference” case based on presidential immunity. Otherwise, the stay would no longer be in force and the case would go right back to court in DC, where pre-trial steps would continue as Jack Smith rushed frantically to try and convict Trump before the election.
And today, the High Court is hearing the Colorado 14th Amendment case. As Victoria Taft says for PJ MEDIA, this is “Democrats’ latest effort to weaponize the law to make Donald Trump unelectable --- and broke --- in the 2024 election cycle.” On Thursday, she says, “the Supreme Court now becomes the center ring in their Get Trump circus.”
Many legal experts have looked at this case and said it could --- and should --- be a unanimous decision by the Court that the 14th Amendment cannot be used in this situation. To start with the obvious, Trump is NOT an insurrectionist. (Recall what Scott Adams said about this: that if at this point you think January 6 was actually an insurrection, you are too dumb to hold public office and should resign immediately.) And it’s not up to a state court to simply declare him one. He’s never been charged, let alone found guilty, of insurrection. (Pelosi’s House impeached him in a blatantly political process, if you want to count that as being “charged,” but the Senate did not convict.) Even Trump-hating special counsel Jack Smith, whom you KNOW would’ve charged Trump with insurrection if he’d thought he could, didn’t do that.
But the Supreme Court might not even need to get into those issues (although one might wish they would). Legal experts have said that the President isn’t even covered by the language of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which specifically applies to an “officer” of the United States. In U.S. v. Mouot (1888), the Supreme Court ruled that “unless a person in the service of the government...holds his place by virtue of an appointment...he is not, strictly speaking, an officer of the United States.”
Constitutional scholar Steven Calabrisi has explained why the writers of the Amendment would have meant it this way. The wording of Article II, Section 2, shows that the President and “officers” are spoken of separately. “Officers” are people who have been commissioned by the President, not the President himself, as he doesn’t commission himself! Plus, there’s a really big clue that they didn’t mean to include the President:
“The words ‘President or Vice President’ were deliberately edited out of the final version of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. This, together with the disqualification of presidential electors and vice-presidential elector(s) who have engaged in ‘insurrection or rebellion’ makes it clear that the Framers of Section 3 did not intend for it to apply to presidents or vice presidents who engaged in insurrection.”
There you are. If it can be shown that the framers of Section 3 DELIBERATELY EDITED OUT the words “President or Vice President,” then clearly, they did not want that section to apply to those positions. We don’t see how their intention could have been clearer.
As Pavlich also reported, Vivek Ramaswamy filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief arguing that same point, that the President is not an “officer.” He also said that the Democrats “have resorted to antidemocratic methods because they doubt that they can beat him in a fair election.” He also expresses concern that such a precedent would “warp incentives for state decision-makers and voters alike.” As if these weren’t getting warped enough as it is. See Colorado and Maine.
So this might be a good time to pray for Trump, his legal team and the Justices, that wisdom might prevail and we have no further warping of the electoral system.
Finally, here’s some good news for all of us who desire transparency on the part of sneaky Special Counsel Jack Smith, who won’t even divulge the names of his legal team. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, who’s presiding over the “classified documents” case in Florida, has ruled that some discovery material Smith wanted to keep under seal will have to be disclosed.
Smith had tried to argue “witness safety and intimidation concerns,” but the judge seems not to have been impressed. She found his response “sparse and undifferentiated” and said it “fails to provide the Court with the necessary factual basis to justify sealing.” So, “there shall be no filing under seal of any unclassified material in this case,” she said, unless the Court has given permission to do so, which would be only in “clear and supported cases of risk to personal safety or national security.” As it should be. Thank you, Judge Cannon.