On Monday, historic hearings commenced in a Colorado courtroom to consider an unprecedented plan to deny former President Donald Trump access to the White House.
The proposed measure is based on a contentious interpretation of the 14th Amendment which argues that Trump should not be eligible to seek federal elective office due to his alleged involvement in the events at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.
That day, a disturbance occurred following a speech given by Mr. Trump in Washington D.C., prompting some Democrats and Republicans alike to dub it an “insurrection”.
Despite these claims, no charges have been brought against Mr. Trump for his part in inciting this incident.
ABC News noted that a similar hearing is set to begin on Thursday in Minnesota. The outlet adds:
On Monday morning in Denver, a historic five-day evidentiary hearing got underway for a lawsuit filed against Trump by six Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters, represented by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
CREW President Noah Bookbinder has said that his organization brought its suit in Colorado because “it is necessary to defend our republic both today and in the future.” The group’s complaint accuses Trump of inciting and aiding the mob at the Capitol two years ago, which he denies. He was impeached on similar charges but acquitted by Republicans in the Senate.
Trump has consistently denied his involvement in any form of sedition or insurrection.
A spokesperson for the Trump campaign recently commented on the 14th Amendment cases, asserting that those who are attempting to implicate President Trump in this matter are “stretching the law beyond recognition.”
CREW lawyers called upon two Capitol Police officers and Representative Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California and one of many legislators present during the events of January 6th, to provide testimony.
“The events on Jan. 6, 2021, in the United States Capitol were horrific. It was a terrorist attack on the United States of America, an assault on democracy and an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” one of the officers, Danny Hodges, speculated.
An attorney for CREW claimed in an opening statement that “Trump incited a violent mob to attack our Capitol to stop the peaceful transfer of power under our Constitution. … And we are here because Trump claims after all that he has the right to be president again.
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a 14th Amendment case brought by John Anthony Castro, a Republican presidential nominee candidate who filed a lawsuit against President Trump earlier this year, in an effort to prevent him from running for office or holding the position due to his alleged involvement with the criminals and insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol on January 6th, 2021.
The lawsuit was based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment which dictates that anyone who has been involved in rebellion or insurrection, or provided aid or comfort to those doing so, shall not be eligible to hold federal elective office.
This provision was added to the amendment when it was ratified immediately following the Civil War and has only been used twice since then as punishment for former Confederates.
Law professor John Yoo of UC Berkeley and Robert Delahunty of the Claremont Institute’s Center for American Way of Life have argued that attempting to bar Trump under these terms is unlikely to succeed.
They both concur that the “insurrection clause” of the amendment is still applicable in present times, yet they dispute legal experts who maintain that it applies to Trump.
“While their theory about the continuing relevance of the Constitution’s insurrection clause strikes us as correct, they err in believing that anyone, down to the lowest county election worker, has the right to strike Trump from the ballot,” they wrote.