As the fall season of 2023 nears ever closer, the Republican Presidential primary continues to develop as the second debate is scheduled for the end of September. In these televised discussions, a crowded field of candidates grapple to appear relevant and catch the attention of prospective voters. In the most recent polls, the former 45th President Donald Trump continues to maintain a large, double digit lead over the second place challenger, Ron DeSantis. The sizeable lead has been attained by Trump even in the face of four criminal indictments and a seemingly endless crusade by political opponents to disqualify him from seeking the office once again. In the latest developments, political enemies are attempting to utilize the 14th amendment to bar the president from running for office once again.
Foes of Trump on both the left and right of the political spectrum have begun to recently make the assertion that he could be blocked from the ballot by attempting to utilize section 3 of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Section 3 claims that any individual who committed insurrection against the government of America shall be barred from office in what has been known as the Disqualification Clause. While several of the indictments Trump faces have attempted to make the argument that the former president meant to incite violence and illegally overturn the 2020 election, George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley states that he is skeptical of the theory and views it as potentially dangerous.
Citing the time in which the constitution was written, Turley says that the amendment was written in the aftermath of the Civil War and was meant to be framed against individuals who openly took up arms in a rebellion against the government. Turley claims that while political activists seek to stretch the meaning of the word insurrection to Trumps provocative statements following the election, the argument is weak and would set destructive political precedent.