Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) did not foreclose on Thursday the option of invoking the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to bar former President Donald Trump from holding office again.
“We’re first going to finish the impeachment trial and then Democrats will get together and discuss where we go next,” Schumer told reporters at the U.S. Capitol when asked about the possibility of using the amendment if the Senate acquits Trump, as it is expected to do.
Section three of the Amendment says that no one shall serve in Congress or become president or vice president, among other positions, if they have previously taken an oath as a federal or state official but “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
“The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article,” the amendment states.
But legislation would require 67 votes in the Senate, which would mean convincing 17 Republicans to support it even if every single Democrat did.
That’s the same threshold that Democrats face for an impeachment conviction.
Democrats have openly discussed using the amendment.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he spoke at length with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who has been at the head of reviewing alternatives to impeachment.
“I haven’t been convinced yet, because the 14th Amendment is not explicit on how you determine whether someone participated in an insurrection,” Durbin told reporters last month.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), before the House of Representatives impeached Trump, asked colleagues for their views on the amendment.
Constitutional scholar Rick Green told The Epoch Times that he believes Democrats will try to “create a scenario where they piece together these different parts of the Constitution to be able to get a vote with a majority based on the 14th amendment.”
By citing different parts of the Constitution, Green believes Democrats may try to allege they only need a majority, not a supermajority.
If they succeed, Trump could take the matter to the Supreme Court.
“The problem is the Supreme Court has said in the past that it has no say over impeachment and no say over the outcome of an impeachment trial,” Green said. “So the appealing of what happens here in the Senate is going to be very difficult. He’s going to have great arguments, but I think there’s a good chance that the Supreme Court will punt.”