Post Civil War Era Amendment Addresses ‘Insurrection’
COLLEGEVILLE -- Since last week's riot at the United States Capitol, there has been a lot of talk about impeachment and invoking the 25th Amendment in an effort to remove President Donald Trump from office. Now there is also some talk in Washington about the 14th Amendment.
Phil Kronebusch is a political science professor at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. He says that amendment was passed after the civil war.
And it included the provision that was then designed to prevent anyone who sympathized with the confederacy from ever holding public office. But, of that doesn't refer to the confederacy, it says anyone who supported insurrection or provided aid and comfort to people who supported insurrection could be prohibited from holding public office.
Kronebusch says it would be up to Congress to interpret the meaning of "insurrection". It would only require a simple majority vote in both the House and Senate instead of a two-thirds majority.
As for the suggestion that President Trump being banned from social media sites infringes on his 1st Amendment rights, Kronebusch points out the amendment only prohibits the government from restricting speech, not private companies.
Trump was able to appoint three people to the United States Supreme Court during his one term in office. As for President-elect Joe Biden, speculation has already begun that 82-year-old Stephen Breyer - a liberal - may retire sometime over the next four years.