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What is the disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment?

This week, a New Mexico judge ruled that the county commissioner was disqualified from conducting office because he participated in in attack on US Capitol on January 6, 2021

AT ordering Otero County Commissioner Kui Griffin removed from the office the judge cited the section of 14th Amendment prohibiting any elected official “who, having previously taken an oath… support Constitution of United States”, then “does in rebellion or rebellion against the same, or help or consolation enemies from this”. Protection group who sued also considering an attempt use it’s a disqualification former President Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential election, according to the New York Times.

The disqualification clause, as it is sometimes called, was written in in post- The era of reconstruction of the civil war, in short period when Radical Republicans – some of the most progressive deputies in American history – had a majority and were determined to prevent high-ranking Confederate traitors from returning to public office.

The amendment does not specify who is supposed to enforce it, so the responsibility fell on different bodies. Griffin was disqualified in court, but historically Congress itself has sometimes adopted votes prevent elected participants are seated.

Two of these cases highlight the discrepancy of Item Application: last the time of using it successfully is almost century back against anti-war MP Viktor Berger (who was by no means standard definition, rebel) and when it was applied against former Confederate Zebulon Vance – who, like Berger was allowed to waltz back in office as soon as the political winds changed in his favor.

Vance grew up up in well connected family that fought financially but still enslaved more than a dozen people. After law school he rose in political ranks, first in state senate and eventually as the youngest member of 36th Congress, representing Asheville and surrounding areas.

(Rep. Madison Cawthorne (RN.C.), who currently represents Asheville and has been also the youngest member of his Congress, faced a lawsuit trying to disqualify him from Congress under the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit was dismissed as moot after Cawthorne lost his primary in May.)

As the march to the Civil War escalated, Vance initially opposed secession, but eventually served in Confederate army. He also served as Confederate Governor of North Carolina.

After the war, in In 1870, he was appointed Senator from North Carolina, but the Senate refused to appoint him, citing the 14th Amendment. After spending two years in Washington is trying to get amnesty he gave up.

The collection of statues of the Capitol is replenished first Black American replacing Confederates

But just a few years later, Washington handed over out amnesty like candydefeating the whole goal of reservation. Vance got his in 1875 and was elected to the Senate three years later. He not only served until his death in 1894; in meaning, it’s still there today: the statue of Vance stands in National Sculpture Hall in US Capitol, 1916 gift from North Carolina, which Congress cannot legally remove unless the state decides to replace it.

Berger had a completely different story, although he ended up in the same cucumber as Vance. Born into a Jewish family family in Austrian Empire, he immigrated to the United States as young human in 1878. He became a successful publisher. in Milwaukee of both English and German language newspapers.

Berger was leading voice of “Sewer Socialists” who believed that socialist goals could be achieved through elections and good government, violent revolution is not needed. Today we would call it is a “roads and bridges” platform; back then, it was a working sewerage system and clean, city-owned water.

The Socialists won US elections long before Bernie Sanders and AOC

Berger served one term in Congress – the first member of the Socialist Party – from 1911 to 1913, culminating in the introduction first bill for old age pension. (Today we call that Social Security.) He didn’t win re-election but he stayed active in Wisconsin politics as well as in publishing.

Then the First World War began, and with The First Red Panic has arrived. Berger was against war said so in his editorials and in 1918 was enough for he will be charged with “disloyal acts” under the Espionage Act. He was running for Congress again at the time of arraignment and soon after he won in the elections in November of that year, he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

Socialist who ran for president from prison – as well as won almost a million votes

Bye out on attractiveness, Berger showed up in Washington will be sworn in in. The House of Representatives refused to seat him vote of 309-1, stating that his words “provided help or comfort” enemies of nation, and thus it was banned under the 14th Amendment.

In December 1919 he fled in in special elections to replace himself, and unbelievably, he won. The house denied him second time. In 1921, Berger’s conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court, and he returned unhindered to Congress. in 1922 where he served three terms pushing legislation to break down on lynching and repeal Prohibition.

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Tyler Hromadka
Tyler Hromadka
Tyler is working as the Author at World Weekly News. He has a love for writing and have been writing for a few years now as a free-lancer.

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