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Should the Supreme Court Rule Against Kicking Trump Off the Ballot? A Debate

Should the Supreme Court Rule Against Kicking Trump Off the Ballot? A Debate

The Washington Post's Jason Willick and The UnPopulist's Andy Craig discuss if Trump deserves to be convicted for insurrection before being denied ballot access

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Landry Ayres: Welcome to Zooming In at The UnPopulist, I’m Landry Ayres. On our last episode, we heard from The UnPopulist columnist and director of election policy at the Rainey Center Andy Craig on why he believes removing Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot is, in fact, not anti-democratic. Today, we wanted to give you the opportunity to hear a counter-argument.

Today’s debate, which features both Andy and, for the opposition, the Washington Post’s Jason Willick, is not filled with bad-faith interruptions, name-calling, or any of the other shallow chaos associated with modern debates. Andy and Jason discuss whether or not January 6th was an insurrection, the merits of the argument that the president is not an “officer,” and what we can expect from the Supreme Court’s soon to be released decision. We hope you enjoy it. We go now to The UnPopulist’s senior editor and the moderator for this debate, Berny Belvedere.

A transcript of today’s podcast appears below. It has been edited for flow and clarity.

Berny Belvedere: Welcome to Zooming In with The UnPopulist. I'm your host for today's episode, Berny Belvedere. The topic of today's debate is whether Trump should be disqualified from the ballot based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. I'm joined by The UnPopulist columnist and director of election policy at the Rainey Center, Andy Craig. Andy, welcome.

Andy Craig: Hi. Thanks for having me. Looking forward to it.

Berny Belvedere: And also by Jason Willick, columnist for the Washington Post, formerly of the Wall Street Journal. Jason, thanks for coming on.

Jason Willick: Good to be with you.

Berny Belvedere: Right off the bat, I want to tackle the insurrection question. I want to do so by bringing up something that I heard from last Thursday's SCOTUS hearing on the arguments that Trump's camp and the other side have brought up. Trump's lawyer argued that two critical criteria were missing from January 6th that disallows us to see it as an insurrection. Number one, it was chaotic, not organized. Number two, it was not an attempt to overthrow the government. He therefore called it a riot rather than an insurrection. Jason, let me start with you. What do you think of that particular argument?

Jason Willick: I think it's basically correct, but I think, the reason that this case is not going to turn on that question and it's instead going to turn on a process question is because it's so hard to figure out what's an insurrection. It's important that we have a reliable process in place to do that. I think that's the main problem with the disqualification—there's been no criminal process to make that determination. That said, if you want to get to the merits, to me, the term ‘insurrection’ as used in Section 3 was used after the Civil War, which was obviously political violence on a much larger scale. It was the Confederates claiming sovereignty over territory as separate from the national government.

Another example that people use in American history is the Whiskey Rebellion in the 1790s in western Pennsylvania, which once again basically included the whiskey rebels basically claiming sovereignty, basically claiming that they were subjects of a different government from the government of the United States. I think that's fundamentally different from an election dispute. It's certainly different from an election riot over who won the election, especially when the magnitude of violence is ugly and awful and lots of people were injured and one woman in the mob was shot and killed.

In the Whiskey Rebellion, hundreds of men were under arms, carrying guns, being prepared to fight a battle in a traditional sense, not a riot. I basically agree with it, but I think what's more important is just that no adequate process has been followed to make that determination.

Berny Belvedere: We'll get to the process in just a second. I want to stay on this point for a moment, and I want to press you on this just a little because it seems as if the constitutional amendment gives us a rough sketch of what an insurrection should be understood to be in the future. When I asked you whether this particular case fits, you compared it to past cases rather than seeing if it fits according to the much more, admittedly permissive language of the Constitution itself. What do you think about the argument that although we could say that January 6 was not on the level of some of these other insurrections like the Civil War, but nevertheless it fits within the text's understanding of what it should be known as moving forward?

Jason Willick: I think the Civil War is relevant because that's the backdrop of the amendment, but I think when the framers said insurrection or rebellion of the 14th Amendment, they would have included the Whiskey Rebellion in that. I think there's a legal definition of insurrection, there's a political definition, and a colloquial definition. Some people would tell you, I think probably Mark Graber, the scholar, will tell you, any two people who resist any law with force or the threat of force are committing an insurrection. We could make such a sweeping definition that almost every protest that had any violence on the margins was an insurrection.

It's interesting because reading some of the amicus briefs that are trying to offer an originalist definition of insurrection, and they're going back to the laws, the common law and the British monarchy. These were not exactly liberal societies, they were monarchies, and so it was basically considered that a large crowd of ruffians was itself an insurrection. It's definitely not our modern progressive understanding about how political protest works. We have a lot of tolerance for political protests in America, whether you like it or not. We have a huge history of large people gathering in an attempt to influence policy, and it's quite common that there is at least some violence involved.

I don't think it works to just use the maximalist definition because it just becomes unworkable. Then separately, there's the question of whether Donald Trump engaged in it. Maybe some of the people whom the Justice Department convicted of seditious conspiracy, it could have also convicted for insurrection in a criminal trial, but the fact pattern is different for each individual. I don't think January 6th—I think it's fine to call it an insurrection, it's fine to use political hyperbole, that's the nature of our politics, but I don't think it really meets the criteria, and certainly in a sense where we can disqualify someone from the ballot for it without a process.

Berny Belvedere: Andy Craig, do you believe that Trump engaged in insurrection? Why?

Andy Craig: On the first point whether or not Donald Trump engaged in it, this was something he did not just incite, he organized, caused it to happen, provided material assistance. It simply would not have happened but for him. I think that's relevant. As for what constitutes an insurrection, I agree that things like the Whiskey Rebellion, the Shays Rebellion, on the more laudable side, even John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, as much as we might admire the motive for that, is something that would fall under the understanding of what counts as an insurrection.

There's a few things that do limit it because I agree, this is a concern that we don't want to have. Every riot in the country, every civil disturbance, does that then become an insurrection? The 14th Amendment speaks specifically of an insurrection against the Constitution, and I think that's relevant here. This was a large body of people, thousands of people, who might not have been well organized, but they were organized. They were assembled and motivated and acted to a coherent, shared purpose.

They attacked the United States Capitol, the seat of government. They forcibly dispersed Congress in order to prevent it from carrying out a core, essential constitutional function of counting and certifying the results of a presidential election, with the ultimate goal of installing what would have been an unelected, unconstitutional autocrat in place of our elected presidency. When you talk about the scale of it, a lot of these things that we point to historically were either less violent, less deadly, or involved a smaller number of people. I do think it's true that there needs to be some minimum hundreds, thousands of people. It's not something that two people can't get together and do an insurrection together. When you're talking about a fundamental disruption attack on core constitutional institutions carrying out their responsibilities, doing so violently, doing so for the purpose of obstructing the U.S. Constitution, I think this is something that in 1868 would have been widely recognized as an insurrection by the plain dictionary definition of it. That's why it became the common term to describe it so quickly.

When we compare it to the Civil War, that's why the 14th Amendment speaks of insurrection or rebellion. The Confederacy was on a much larger scale. It was rebellion. It was actually setting up an alternate government claiming territory and all the rest of it. All the examples we have of something that is just insurrection, many of them are on a scale similar to what happened on January 6th.

Jason: One limiting principle, I think, and you find this in some of the language of various versions of the Insurrection Act and so on, is that something changes from a riot to an insurrection, or one relevant metric for that continuum is when the state can no longer enforce the laws through ordinary means. There were, I suppose, a couple of hours where the state was unable to do that on January 6th, but again, if you look at the Whiskey Rebellion, for example, the United States marshals could not go to Western Pennsylvania because they would basically be tarred and feathered.

The United States government, the violence was so sustained or the threat of violence was so real that the state's police power basically no longer existed and of course, in every riot that happens momentarily, but in this case, basically, the rioters were dispersed after a few hours and were able to be prosecuted quite swiftly and quite severely under the normal courts. There was no need for military courts or some extraordinary process, the basic authority of the government was interrupted and, obviously, I don't feel the need to make a lot of ‘to be sure this was an egregious thing’—of course, it was, but I think that that's a relevant metric that law enforcement was able to proceed. Anyway, that's just one point of distinction to think about.

Berny Belvedere: Jason, what would be, in your opinion, the strongest reason for thinking that Trump engaged in insurrection? Obviously, you side on seeing it as ultimately wrong, but I like to ask this question because it's a way for a thoughtful proponent of a viewpoint to be able to, through their judgment, hierarchically order what's the strongest reason they've come across. I think that helps us see both sides of the issue and what reasons are most powerful here. If you had to tell me what the strongest reason for thinking, even though in the end you disagree with it, what would you say is the strongest reason for thinking Trump did engage in insurrection?

Jason Willick: There's two separate questions. The Trump engaging, I feel like we sort of—I think the most egregious thing that Trump did in the course of this was to not act during the riot, and we'll probably learn more about this at his criminal trial, but the way that he stood by, and seemed to basically be delighted by this riot is an egregious thing. Whether that constitutes “engaging,” I don't know. It's certainly the thing that's most offensive to me about all of his conduct, all of which was very bad, but I think that that's the most atrocious thing. If that constitutes “engaging” in some way, that's just the part that sticks out to me as especially appalling.

Berny Belvedere: Andy, same question. What's the strongest reason for thinking Trump did not engage in insurrection that you've come across?

Andy Craig: On the point of Trump engaging in it, I think the strongest argument would probably be that his plan was not terribly coherent. I do not know that he necessarily had in mind something for it to play out the way it did. Nobody could have predicted that the police lines would be overrun like they did. I do think he intended that it would be violent. I think he intended it to have a coercive effect on Congress and the vice president and the rest of it. You can question the degree to which this was a plan for it to result in people literally storming the floors of the House and Senate, as opposed to people fighting the police lines outside, which is what might've been more expected.

On the question of whether it was an insurrection, the point Jason mentioned that I do find the most borderline, even though I'm not ultimately persuaded by it, is the length of time. I think the scale of it was sufficient. If you're looking at it did last a few hours and then we had downtown DC effectively under national guard. Military occupation isn't quite the right way to put it, but we did have military forces defending the Capitol for the next two weeks after that. I think that's relevant and not just the events of the day of January 6th.

If you look at the core of what we're calling the insurrection, it's true. It lasted a few hours. I think that's the strongest grounds, I think, on which to dispute it, even though I think the scale and purpose of it was sufficient.

Berny Belvedere: I think an interesting question to ask here, because we're dealing with a constitutional provision, because we're parsing language so closely, is zooming out a bit and asking a question about our constitutional interpretive frameworks. Here's a question I'm going to ask both of you. How has your preferred model of constitutional interpretation fared in this question of Trump's fitness vis-a-vis Section 3 of the 14th Amendment? First, tell me whether you're approaching this from an originalist or whatever other interpretive framework, and then tell me why your stance on Trump's fitness vindicates that model.

Andy Craig: I will start by acknowledging that after oral arguments, it seems pretty clear the Supreme Court is going to reach what I think is the wrong decision on this. This whole argument was kicked off in very large part by the Baude-Paulsen article, and they're both originalists. They argue, I think, very convincingly from that framework of what did this word mean and how would it have been understood at the time in 1868 when the 14th Amendment was being ratified.

I would go a little bit further to say, as much as I think all that's correct and valuable, the original public meaning and original intent is properly understood as being for resolving ambiguity when the plain text doesn't answer it. From a more literally textualist perspective, I think you can get there with just the plain dictionary definition of these words, including, if you want, dictionaries from the time without necessarily having to go into all these things that are the legislative history and what was said while they were debating it in Congress and all that. I think that's informative.

I don't think it's strictly necessary to reach that. I think the plain text of the 14th Amendment holds up pretty well here, that if you just look at it on the common sense facial reading of it, I think it applies. He did it.

Berny Belvedere: Jason?

Jason Willick: I think that that's a fascinating question because like you said, this was set off by originalists. Will Baude is probably the most prominent academic originalist, at least young originalist in the academy, and Michael Stokes Paulsen has been at it for longer and is an originalist wherever the results may lead. I think Scalia once described himself as a faint-hearted originalist. I'd say in conservative jurisprudence, there's originalism where you're going to take whatever you think the constitution says and apply it no matter what, and maybe not care as much about the consequences or the outcomes. I'd say also there's a more Burkean sensibility, a more small-c conservative sensibility and jurisprudence which sees a more modest, perhaps, role for the courts that doesn't want the courts to work total upheavals on society without a strong basis in legitimacy that prefers interpretations that work within the accepted … that cares more about precedent, that cares more about the legitimacy of the court, all of these things.

I would put myself—I think the original meaning is really important, and I'm also sort-of a Burkean conservative, so I think that that shapes my view. First of all, I think the originalist evidence is tough. You can make a purist, originalist case like, "Look, the definition of insurrection in common law included almost all protests or all large protests." Just incredibly expansive terms and that's just what it says. We can disqualify candidates, we can disqualify them after people have voted. Why not?

We have judicial supremacy, and the courts can just do whatever they want for the political system as long as they have the right historical evidence. That's not me, I think I'm more Burkean in my approach, so I think that the idea of disqualifying someone in this way, the fact that it's unworkable is relevant. That's the spirit of the Constitution. The spirit of the Constitution wants us to provide due process and wants us to create a system that has political legitimacy where people will accept legal outcomes, not just have them foisted on them.

I say my small-c conservatism does influence my interpretation of this, and I think it's interesting to see this divide among conservatives between originalists and more small-c conservatives on this question.

Berny Belvedere: We've had for the past couple of years a version of that very point—at a crude level, of course—where anytime you would see people plausibly understood to be on the left engaging in any kind of protest, some people would say online or in columns that why is that not considered an insurrection. I think they're tracking a version of this idea that if January 6 was an insurrection, and they look at the aspects that involve the riots or the people being unruly, why shouldn't this also be called?

I think something Andy said earlier, an interesting point, it's worth wondering whether taking insurrection on its own is the relevant metric here, or if maybe we ought to see an insurrection against the Constitution or against an aspect of the government's ongoing viability as what is an insurrection, as opposed to just something smaller or lesser than that. I take your point that there's a way to maybe see insurrection, stripped of its context, as being something that isn't only looking at cases where you take over the Capitol building, or it may just be a local courthouse or something that you set fire to it. Maybe it encompasses something like that, but then again, I think it was supposed to work in tandem with the operations of the government rather than just something less consequential to the government's operations.

I actually want to ask a question related to something you said there, which I think is one of the most interesting points that the justices brought up. I think if you were to poll a lot of Americans and you ask them this question of why do you have maybe a little bit of cold feet when it comes to seeing Trump's actions as maybe insurrectionary, I think a lot of people would worry about the potential ripple effects of disqualifying him.

The justice has raised concerns in the hearing about the potential consequences of disqualifying Trump. My question is, how relevant should these considerations be when it comes to determining whether someone has fallen a foul of a constitutional provision? You just gave me an answer there, Jason, where it's a part of the jurisprudence to take into account the ongoing legitimacy of the court. Let me ask it slightly differently. In your own calculus for determining whether Trump should be disqualified based on the Constitution, is this "social impact factor" a rightly important one? Why?

Jason Willick: First of all, if Trump were convicted under the insurrection statute, I wouldn't have a problem. I think he would be disqualified. If Trump were convicted by—the House impeached him for insurrection and the Senate, 57 senators voted to convict him in the Senate trial. If in either the impeachment or the criminal process this was adjudicated as an insurrection, which is fine, they have their own definitions, I wouldn't say that they were wrong, then sure, disqualify, whatever the outcomes.

My point is that you need to have … when you're overriding the political process in this way that's never been done before, where people are already voting and people assume that they can vote for this candidate and then judges remove him from the ballot essentially, just blocking the Republican primary from proceeding, that can be done. This idea that it has to be … not everything has to be democratic. It's fine to do that.

Like I said, if two-thirds of the Senate wanted to do this, they could do this. If a federal jury under the supervision of a federal court applying the law convicted Trump and the conviction was sustained, those are reasons to override democracy, but those are processes that people understand and that have legitimacy and that have the expectation. People know that that can happen. You can't just surprise them during the primary. My point is that when you use a process that lacks legitimacy, when you short-circuit the proper processes for doing something, you are, I think, undermining the constitutional order.

It's all mixed in. The fact that the consequences would be bad is not by itself a reason not to do something, but the fact that the consequences could be bad because people would rightly see the Constitution being flouted is something to consider. It's all a question of political legitimacy. We haven't mentioned Griffin's case, which is the Salmon P. Chase 1869 opinion on the 14th Amendment Section 3, but he basically says, "Look, ascertaining whether someone committed an insurrection requires evidence and proceedings, it requires a process."

We have these processes in order to ascertain the truth. Salmon P. Chase is saying we need a process for this. Is that an outcome-based argument or is that just an acknowledgement of reality? Sonia Sotomayor in her oral argument said Salmon P. Chase was just looking at his policy preferences and not looking … I guess the 14th Amendment itself contains a due process requirement. It says nobody shall be denied due process.

Just pragmatically acknowledging this is a really hard inquiry, it's really important that people accept the results of this inquiry, and that enough people can see it as legitimate, I think Salmon P. Chase was right about that. I think it's all tied together and I think, prudence counsels that you are aware of what processes people accept as legitimate.

Berny Belvedere: I'm going to ask about process here in my next question but before, Andy, I want to get your thoughts on the same question. I actually think I was underselling the weight of this question on the justices' minds. It's not just the conservative members of the court. You had someone like Elena Kagan bring up a worry about one state deciding for the rest of the country and how that could be the implicit argument that that's potentially seen as illegitimate for the rest of the country having to abide by that. What do you think about this potential ripple effects consideration?

Andy Craig: I think it's absolutely right to have an aversion in general to doing something like this. This is an extreme remedy, but I would say that this is extreme circumstances. I don't think we've had anything like this where a sitting president incited a violent attack on the Constitution to keep himself in office. I do think it would be proper if the court did reach the merits of this, which they're probably not going to, to articulate that standard. Interpreting Section 3 itself is a federal question that should be resolved by the Supreme Court either way, even if I think they get it wrong. That's in their ballpark.

On this process point, I would just say that this is arising in the particular context of ballot access. Ballot access is something that's run by the states. It is handled through civil litigation. We've mentioned a few times the federal insurrection statute, and there's both historical and textual reasons that doesn't map very well onto the 14th Amendment. In fact, that statute, 18 U.S.C 2383, that defines a crime of insurrection and has a disqualification from only federal, not state offices, it actually predates the 14th Amendment. Section 3 was in part written to remedy what was seen as the insufficiencies of only doing this on the basis of criminal prosecution. Candidates get kicked off the ballot all the time in the United States under ballot access laws for arcane technical reasons, their petitions were insufficient, they didn't meet some qualification.

In that regard, particularly the way this shot up straight to the Supreme Court, I think that's in line with how election law matters are handled in general all the time for everybody. The state-by-state point, that's just how presidential elections work. Every four years there are candidates that are on the ballot in some states and not others. We care about it less because they're usually minor party candidates. They're irrelevant. They're not going to get 1 or 2% of the vote anyway.

I don't think it's right that the legal standard should be different for Trump just because he's a leading candidate who has a lot of support. I think we should apply the rules in the same way with the same standards which is usually highly deferential to the states on this under the—it's called Anderson Burdick, the balancing test the Supreme Court has applied. The courts have been generally unfavorable to candidates saying, "I was wrongly kicked off the ballot."

Berny Belvedere: I think one frustration that people have with this question of process more broadly is, it's unclear to them why this whole process is so difficult not just in terms of settling whether Trump committed insurrection or should be on the ballot, but even settling who is the relevant government authority or body to look at this decisively, and at what point, and then how a different body might interact with that. We have individual states, we have the Supreme Court, we've got Congress. Why is this such a difficult matter, Andy, figuring out what the process, the order of operations here should be?

Andy Craig: I think that's partly because one, Section 3 doesn't address this point which is, if I was going to go back and rewrite it, that would certainly be something I would add clarity to--

Berny Belvedere: Can I ask you a question on this? Because it seems like Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does include something where it says if you want a change to this, then Congress can step in. Other than that, it's operable already or it's operative already, right?

Andy Craig: That's right. There's the process for congressional amnesty. That admittedly does not answer the question of how do you make the determination in the first place if somebody is disqualified, if Congress needs to grant them an amnesty. I would say the answer to that is that it depends on what context it's arising in. You can have—our election process is very complicated, particularly when we're talking about for president. You have the states playing a role in how they set up and administer their elections, then you have the Electoral College. Then it goes possibly the courts in litigation both before and after the election, and then ultimately it does go to Congress during the electoral count on January 6th.

I think it matters that this case is arising in the particular context of pre-election decisions about ballot access. That's something that goes through the state procedures and then you can appeal it to court, including appealing it up the chain to federal court. That's proper, but that doesn't preclude that, for example, Congress on January 6th, and there is the procedure for this deliberately left in place when we reformed the Electoral Count Act a couple of years ago, that Congress could say, ‘no, we're not going to accept votes for this person because they're not eligible.’ Congress did that once with Horace Greeley who had died in 1872. That's fairly well established, but that is on the back end of what is going to be the certified result of the Electoral College vote.

That could be they're not a natural born citizen, they're not 35 years old, whatever the case may be, but that doesn't mean that states have to put ineligible candidates on the ballot on the front end. It's generally uncontroversial and undisputed and states do it frequently. We're seeing now with Cenk Uygur, and we've seen it with other candidates where the state says, ‘no, you're not eligible, we're not going to put you on the ballot.’ Then you can appeal that through the process, through the courts we have, but that is the appropriate way to decide ballot access issues.

The one case we have in history where Section 3 was terribly abused was in 1919 with Victor Berger out of Milwaukee. To make a long story short, he had been convicted of basically opposing World War I when Woodrow Wilson was criminalizing dissent under the Espionage and Sedition Acts. Congress pointed to that conviction and said that's disqualifying. Ultimately, that conviction was overturned, he was eventually seated. I think that points to the danger. The criminal process is dependent on the president and his administration deciding to pursue prosecution. It's, in some ways, more susceptible to abuse, I think. I think that's one of the problems with trying to take this out of the civil law realm where it belongs.

Berny Belvedere: Jason, what has been the most frustrating argument you've heard the other side make, and why does it frustrate you more than other arguments? I'll give you an example for me. The idea that the presidency would not be encompassed by the list of offices in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is frustrating for me. Just using a simple a fortiori argument, where you reason from the lesser to the greater, are we really supposed to believe that the concerns they had over traitors and insurrectionists gaining legislative office was of great concern, but someone gaining the presidential office wasn't? That would be for me. What would be a frustrating argument you've heard and why do it that way?

Jason Willick: First, just a word on the point you made about the presidency and the officers. I had not paid much attention to that because it just seemed technical and like a sideshow. It does seem like Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson is interested in that as a way out of this case. I will say that it overlaps with my process concern because the presidency is the only official elected nationally, so disqualifying him by one state poses problems that are posed by no other elected official.

It seems on its surface super technical, but there's actually a practical elegance to it, perhaps. I happen to agree with you, I think the president is an officer. You have to distinguish between an officer of, an officer under, and it doesn't convince me, but there is the fact that Section 3 being self-executing is especially unworkable against the president as opposed to any other official who is really just subject to one state's processes.

The most frustrating to me, continuing on this point, is probably the argument, well, states, they decide whether someone's 35 all the time, and they decide whether there are enough signatures. That's true enough, and I take the point as a way to think about how we adjudicate qualifications, but this is just so different from that because this is a totally politicized question, and it's fundamentally a question that requires a different kind of process from those questions. I think trying to shoehorn insurrection or aid or comfort to enemies into these other kinds of quotidian ballot access disputes is just … it might be a legal argument that works by analogy or so on, but in practice, that's the thing that to me seems the most unrealistic.

Berny Belvedere: Andy, what's the most frustrating argument you've heard the other side make, and why do you find it so frustrating?

Andy Craig: I would say it's exactly that point you mentioned about these arguments that the president isn't an officer. I think it's frustrating because I don't think it's historically true. It involves cherry-picking of very few arguments that cut against a lot of examples we have of people explicitly discussing the presidency as covered by this and the plain language of the Constitution itself that calls the presidency an office two dozen times.

I would say that's the most probably frustrating argument, and I hope that's not the one the court goes for among the others they could pick to dispose of this case in Trump's favor. I would say that one. That's the one that has gained oddly a lot of traction. It was really the focus of Trump's brief. Even though Justice Jackson did seem to indicate some sympathy for it, there wasn't a lot of attention for it from the other justices. I suspect they're going to decide it on other grounds about the powers of the states, the role of the states in a presidential election, and all those sorts of things, rather than this really flies-in-the-face-of-common-sense sort of thing that the president is somehow not an officer or doesn't hold an office.

Berny Belvedere: Jason, why should Trump not be disqualified based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment?

Jason Willick: I suppose it would be democracy. People expect that they're going to get to pick their own president in an election, let's have them continue to do that.

Berny Belvedere: Andy, the other side. Why should Trump be disqualified based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment?

Andy Craig: I would say at the deep most intuitive level, this is about somebody who did not accept the electoral process. This is breaking the rules of the game in a way that gets you kicked out, and that the whole reason we have elections is to try to avoid the violent social conflict that he inflicted on us and is very likely in various ways to try to do again.

Berny Belvedere: Jason, Andy, thank you very much. I appreciate you guys coming on and debating this.

Andy Craig: Thank you.

Jason Willick: This was fun. Thanks.

Landry Ayres: Thank you for listening to Zooming In, a project of The UnPopulist. If you enjoy this show, please take a moment to review us on Apple Podcasts and also check out ReImagining Liberty, our sister podcast at The UnPopulist, where host Aaron Ross Powell explores the emancipatory and cosmopolitan case for radical social, political, and economic freedom. For more like this, make sure to subscribe, for free at Until next time.

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