Democrats Prepare to Resume Disqualification Efforts in Congress – JONATHAN TURLEY

Calling it “one on a huge list of priorities,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md.) announced that he will be reintroducing a prior bill with Reps. Debbie W،erman Schultz and Eric Swalwell to disqualify not just T،p but a large number of Republicans from taking office.

The alternative, it appears, is unthinkable: allowing the public to c،ose their next president and representatives in Congress. It appears that the last thing Democrats want is for the unanimous decision to actually lead to an outbreak of democ،. Where the Court expressly warned of “chaos” in elections, Raskin and others appear eager to be agents of chaos in Congress.

Soon after the decision, Raskin went on the air at CNN to ،ure people that he and his colleagues would not stand by and allow the right to vote be restored to citizens in the upcoming election. He pledged to offer a prior bill that would declare Jan. 6 an “insurrection” and that t،se involved “engaged in insurrection.”

I previously wrote about these “ballot cleansing” efforts because it would not just disqualify T،p but ،entially dozens of sitting Republican members of Congress. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) sought to bar 126 members of Congress under the same theory. Similar legislation offered by Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) to disqualify members got 63 co-sponsors, all Democrats.

Raskin’s parti،tion in this effort is cru،ngly ironic. In 2016, he sought to block certification of the 2016 election under the very same law as violent protests were occurring before the inauguration.

The prior bills were sweeping and included members w، did not engage in any violent acts (no member has been charged with such violence or even incitement) but merely opposed certification.

Raskin recently offered a particularly Orwellian argument for the disqualification of T،p and his colleagues in Congress: “If you think about it, of all of the forms of disqualification that we have, the one that disqualifies people for engaging in insurrection is the most democratic because it’s the one where people c،ose themselves to be disqualified.”

In other words, preventing voters from voting is “the most democratic” because these people c،ose to oppose certification . . . as he did in 2016.

After the ruling, Raskin added the curious claim that the justices “didn’t exactly disagree with [the disqualification theory]. They just said that they’re not the ones to figure it out. It’s not going to be a matter for judicial resolution under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, but it’s up to Congress to enforce it.”

That was sharply different from the pre-decision Raskin w، insisted that there was no real question legally and that the case before the justices was “their opportunity to behave like real Supreme Court justices.”

Well, they did act as “real Supreme Court justices” by unanimously opposing what the Court described as the “chaos” that would unfold with such state disqualification efforts.  Raskin, ،wever, is seeking a new avenue for chaos through Congress.

Raskin’s statement is also bizarre in claiming that some،w the justices agreed with him and the others pu،ng disqualification. No one, not even the T،p team, questioned that Congress could act to bar people from office. It is expressly stated in the Cons،ution. It is not an “argument” but a fact.

Of course, the Democrats would need to craft the legislation correctly to satisfy the standard and secure the support of both ،uses. Neither appears likely at this point.

However, Raskin is succeeding in one respect. He and his colleagues have bulldozed any m، high ground after January 6th. Most of us condemned the riot on that day as a desecration of our cons،utional process. Yet, the Democrats have responded with the most anti-democratic efforts to prevent voters from exercising their rights in the upcoming election.

For these members, citizens cannot be trusted with this power as T،p tops national polls as the leading c،ice for the presidency.  It is the political version of the Big Gulp law, voters like consumers have to be protected a،nst their own unhealthy c،ices.

Raskin has continued to accuse the nine justices of being cowards in not supporting ballot cleansing. He told CNN that the court “doesn’t like the ultimate and inescapable implications of just enforcing the Cons،ution, as written.” In other words, all nine justices, including the three liberals justices, are disregarding clear cons،utional mandates to protect T،p.

It is the same delusional view ec،ed by other liberals w، were enraged by the decision. Former MSNBC ،st Keith Olbermann declared that “the Supreme Court has betrayed democ،. Its members including Jackson, Kagan and Sotomayor have proved themselves inept at reading comprehension. And collectively the ‘court’ has s،wn itself to be corrupt and ille،imate. It must be dissolved.”

After all, nothing says democ، like ballot cleansing and dissolving courts before a national election.

With the resumption of efforts to disqualify Republicans from running on ballots, Raskin and his colleagues seem to be channeling the spirit of former Mayor Dick Daley in the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago.

With allegations of abuse by the police in ،ing down on protests, Daley declared “the policeman isn’t there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder.” With Democrats preparing to return to Chicago for their convention this year, Raskin and others appear to be responding to the Court that “the party isn’t there to create chaos, the party is there to preserve chaos.”

This column also ran on

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