Groups seek to bar Trump’s 2024 candidacy using post-Civil War law. Same-sex marriage bill clears key Senate hurdle. World War III averted, for now.
Groups to file insurrection disqualification challenges to Trump’s 2024 candidacy
The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has vowed to file legal action to disqualify Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential candidacy under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Section 3 bars the candidacy of any official who violates their oath of office by engaging in “insurrection or rebellion” against the government or giving “aid or comfort to the enemies thereof”. The post-Civil War measure was passed to prevent former Confederates from running for office.
“The evidence that Trump engaged in insurrection is overwhelming,” CREW president Noah Bookbinder said last week. “We are ready, willing and able to take action to make sure the Constitution is upheld and Trump is prevented from holding office.”
CREW previously filed a successful action in New Mexico to have Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin removed from office due to Couy’s participation in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Other groups are also seeking to bar Trump from appearing on state ballots due to his role in stoking the attack.
Trump facing other hurdles
Following the defeat of many of Trump’s handpicked candidates in the midterms, Republican office holders have been eager to distance themselves from him. Some have publicly expressed worries that Trump’s announcement will hurt Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker in his Dec. 6 run-off against Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock. Herschel managed to clinch the nomination with Trump’s backing.
Conservative news mogul Rupert Murdoch has also told Trump he will not be backing his candidacy. Popular commentators at Murdoch-owned NewsCorp outlets like Fox News were generally enthusiastic supporters of Trump during the 2016 and 2020 election cycles, and some still are. But this time around, it looks like Murdoch will be throwing his weight behind Trump’s chief GOP rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Even so, if Trump does win the GOP nomination, which he very well might, it’s likely that the Republican political and media machine will fall in line behind him for the general election.
However, Trump’s own daughter Ivanka Trump has also said she will not be part of her father’s 2024 campaign. Ivanka skipped Trump’s announcement at Mar-a-Lago last night, although her husband, Jared Kushner, was present. Since Trump left office, there has been ample speculation that Ivanka and Kushner were breaking away from the Trump camp. Ivanka and Jared both testified before the Jan. 6 committee. Both voiced their disagreement with Trump advisors who were pushing the 2020 election fraud narrative. In a statement, Ivanka says, “While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena”. Instead, she says she will be focusing on her young children.
Same-sex marriage bill clears key Senate hurdle
Since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Democrats have been pushing to codify other rights which might be under threat. The majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health suggested that same-sex marriage rights could be undermined by the Court’s reading of the 14th Amendment equal protection clause.
Today, the Senate took an important step towards enshrining the right to same-sex marriage in law, and with significant bipartisan support. Fourteen Republican Senators voted alongside all Senate Democrats to open debate on the Respect for Marriage Act. Today’s procedural vote means that the bill could get a final vote and make its way to Biden’s desk as early as this week. The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. The Act would require that all states to recognize all marriages that were legal where they were performed. It would also protect interracial marriage, which could also be threatened under the Supreme Court majority’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment.
World War III averted, for now
Yesterday, Russia launched nearly 100 missiles targeting several cities in Ukraine, including Kyiv and Lviv, near the Polish border. The attack dealt widespread damage to power infrastructure, but most who lost power now have it back. Tensions rose after a missile struck a farm on the Polish side of the border, killing two people and destroying a tractor. The missile debris suggested it might have been a Russian-made S-300 type rocket. Russia uses these and other types of rockets in their attacks, but Ukraine also uses them as part of their missile defense system.
Poland’s Prime Minister called an emergency security meeting and ordered an investigation to determine where the rocket came from and whether it was accident or an intentional attack. Conveniently, President Biden is in Indonesia at a G20 meeting. There he convened an emergency meeting of the G7 countries to discuss how to respond. Since Poland is a NATO member, the strike could have triggered NATO’s Article 5 mutual defense clause, launching us into World War III.
Fortunately, cooler heads seem to have prevailed. Both Russia and Ukraine deny the rocket is theirs. Nevertheless, the consensus now seems to be that the missile strike was a tragic accident.
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