Insurrection Bar to Office: Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment [January 29, 2021]   [open pdf - 635KB]

From the Document: "In the aftermath of the events of January 6 in and around the Capitol, there have been calls for accountability for those who participated, as well as leaders who may have helped instigate it. The breach of the Capitol resulted in numerous injuries, multiple deaths, and significant property damage. It also delayed the Congress's constitutional duty of certifying electoral votes for President-Elect Joseph Biden and caused Capitol Police and other law enforcement personnel to evacuate the Vice President and Members of Congress from the House and Senate floors to safer locations. Some observers, historians, and other commentators are wondering whether the Disqualification Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment might provide a mechanism to disqualify from holding office individuals who participated in or encouraged the siege, including former and sitting government officials. Invocation of the Disqualification Clause could raise a number of novel legal questions involving the activities that could trigger disqualification, the offices to which disqualification might apply, and mechanisms by which disqualification could be enforced. The Clause has been seldom used, and the few times it has mainly arose out of the Civil War--a very different context from the events of January 6. It is therefore unclear how much past precedents provide useful guidance for its application to the events of January 6. This Legal Sidebar describes the Disqualification Clause, explains to whom it might apply and what activities could incur a bar on holding office, and discusses possible mechanisms to implement it."

Report Number:
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10569
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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