This article talks about a legal case in Colorado involving former President Donald J. Trump. Due to the 14th Amendment Section 3 disqualification, some citizens don’t want him to run for president elections again. They say he encouraged a gang of persons to launch an attack on the United States Capitol in January 2021.
A Colorado judge still has to decide on whether to continue this 14th Amendment Section 3 disqualification issue or not. Trump's lawyers wanted to end this case, but the judge is not ready yet. The judge wants to know more about the legal arguments and also the facts.
What is Amendment 14 Section 3 of the Constitution?
The 14th Amendment has different sections that involve citizenship and the rights of Americans. Some important sections-
Section 1- Those born in the United States become a citizen of both the United States and the state in which they live. States can’t pass laws that take away your rights or treat you cruelly.
Section 2- This section explains how we decide the number of members each state can send to Congress. It further explains that if a state does not allow some people to vote or unfairly punishes them, that state will have fewer members in Congress.
Section 3- If someone committed to support the United States Constitution and then acted against it by attempting to rebel, they cannot hold crucial government offices such as Senator or Representative in Congress. However, if the majority of members agree, Congress can elect to let them back in.
Section 4- It states that the United States government's loans are always valid and must be paid. However, if a state attempts to rebel, the federal government and the states are not obligated to pay any obligations or claims from citizens who lost their freedom.
Section 5- This section is simple and straight. It allows Congress to create laws to ensure that the 14th Amendment is followed.
14th Amendment simplified- The 14th Amendment makes sure that everyone in the United States is treated fairly and equally under the law. It doesn’t matter where they come from or who they are as humanity comes first.
What are some examples of when the 14th Amendment has been used 3?
After the American Civil War: Section 3 of the 14th Amendment stated that those who supported the Confederacy could not work with the government. But, the Amnesty Act of 1872 allowed most of them to return to government services.
Now, talking about the years 1975 and 1978. During this time, the United States Congress voted to give full citizenship rights to two major Confederate figures. Their names were Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. Earlier they were not allowed to work for the government because of their doings, but later on, they got the rights.
Caesar Griffin Case in 1869: In 1869, there was a Section 3 case involving a Black man named Caesar Griffin who got in trouble with the law. Salmon Chase, the Chief Justice, stated that Section 3 was not simple; it required Congress to pass it. This was one of the first times they talked about how to apply this rule.
Modern Times: Use of Section 3 has been rare in recent years. The section was used in 2022, when a New Mexico judge said that Couy Griffin could no longer work for the government. This is because he was involved in the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.
Even after the New Mexico judge’s rules, there is still a chance that courts will debate whether Section 3 should be applied or not. This section is not common, but there may be more disputes and court battles about it.
How did Clause 3 of the 14th Amendment change the United States?
U.S. Constitution 14th Amendment section 3 has changed the U.S. in the following ways.
This section makes sure that all citizens should be treated equally and that they get their rights. This was a major issue, especially for persons who faced unfairness due to their color or background.
- Also, it allows people to challenge unfair laws and practices. There are some southern states where injustice was common.
- It extended certain rights from the Bill of Rights to apply not only to the federal government. It applied to municipalities and states.
- It overruled a prior ruling that denied citizenship to African Americans.
- It provided the basis for future legal challenges and legislation against bigotry and separation. You can take such as school desegregation and the Civil Rights Act as an example.
Is Section 3 of the 14th Amendment self-executing?
Not really, 14th amendment section 3 is not self-executing. It simply sets a law that prohibits persons who supported a rebellion against the United States from occupying certain government roles. However, Congress decides whether and when those people's rights can be resumed.
(By Simran Singh).