It would seem that Asa Hutchinson is the only Republican presidential candidate brave enough to bring up the 14th Amendment, which prohibits Trump from running.
Upholding the Dignity of the Presidential Office
During the initial 2024 Republican presidential debate, opinions varied regarding Donald Trump. Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, stood against the former president due to concerns about normalizing criminal behavior. Despite the boos from the audience, he defended his views and emphasized the need to uphold the dignity of the presidential office.
Trump Is Disqualified Under the Constitution
However, it was Asa Hutchinson – the former governor of Arkansas – who delved into more substantial matters relating to presidential accountability. Hutchinson calmly articulated his inability to endorse Trump in 2024. Referencing the 14th Amendment, he said: “I’m not going to support somebody who’s been convicted of a serious felony or who is disqualified under our Constitution.”
The 14th Amendment
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment outlines the disqualification of individuals who support insurrection or rebellion against the United States. It says: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
A Former Judge Agreed
J. Michael Luttig, a prominent conservative former US Court of Appeals judge, shared a similar perspective. He said that individuals who have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and subsequently participated in insurrection or rebellion could be barred from office without the need for a conviction in a criminal trial.
Trump Fulfills the Criteria
These interpretations align with the viewpoint of US Representative Jamie Raskin, a former law professor and a Maryland Democrat. Raskin led the impeachment efforts against Trump in 2021 and, in regard to the 14th Amendment, said: “[Trump] really does fulfill exactly the constitutional prohibition there.”
Division Within the Republican Party
Hutchinson’s remarks during the debate highlighted the complexity of the situation around Trump. Despite facing backlash from the audience, both he and Christie demonstrated the division within the Republican Party regarding the former president’s eligibility for future nominations. Hutchinson’s measured discussion brought to the forefront the importance of understanding and adhering to the Constitution in the context of presidential candidacy.
The Internet Responded
Social media users discussed the 14th Amendment and its relation to Trump, and opinions were varied. “We know it [disqualifies him]. However, the enforcement mechanism for removing him from the ballots, or removing him from office if elected, is a pipe dream in the current political climate,” one person wrote.
He Should’ve Been Disqualified Ages Ago
Others claimed that Trump should’ve been disqualified from the presidency a very long time ago. “He should have been disqualified the second he made fun of that reporter. Not tossing him out at that moment was our very first Trump mistake,” one individual said.
Traitors Can’t Run for Office
Some people questioned why the 14th Amendment isn’t being discussed more. “Why isn’t this being discussed more within the government leadership? Traitors can’t run for office,” one person said. “Because all the Republicans need his base. Democrats likely want him to run since they beat him in the last two federal elections and several state ones that are off cycle,” another responded.
Americans Should Stand Against Trump
Some commenters expressed shock at the entire situation. One such individual wrote: “I’m still amazed, literally every day. This orange [man] literally attempted an insurrection on American soil. How is he allowed to run for president? Every American, including [Republicans], should be 100% against this.”
The Seriousness of Trump’s Crimes
Discussing the possibility of disqualifying Trump, one person said: “Would such an attempt even be tried, let alone be successful? I doubt it. However, just bringing the conversation forward works to highlight and remind voters of the seriousness of what he tried to do. The fact that it’s coming from a conservative source lends some further weight to it.”
A MAGA “Paradise”
Others responded sarcastically. One person said: “What? Instigating an insurrection, denying the election results, [and] attempting a coup is illegal? What kind of banana republic have we become? One where laws matter? I was living in a MAGA paradise, thinking rules only applied to my enemies.”
Terrifying Prospects: 12 Moves Trump Could Unleash If Re-elected in 2024
21 Things MAGA Followers Permanently Destroyed For Everyone Else