[Federalist Society members, William] Baude and [Michael Stokes] Paulsen maintain their theory [that Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment bars Trump from public office] is “self-executing.” They say that means that public elections officials don’t need special permission from lawmakers to disqualify Trump from the ballot: if they believe the argument is valid, they can disqualify potential candidates on their own.
Not only that, the scholars argue, the election officials are legally required to do so.
“No official should shrink from these duties. It would be wrong — indeed, arguably itself a breach of one’s constitutional oath of office — to abandon one’s responsibilities of faithful interpretation, application, and enforcement of Section Three,” Bode and Paulsen write.
Alternatively, ordinary citizens could file challenges on the same grounds with state election officials themselves.
Either scenario is almost certain to face legal and political blowback, and the argument could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The most immediate hurdle for those disqualification efforts might be timing as the legal challenges must be brought during specific time periods that vary depending on the state where they are brought.
On Tuesday, Bryant “Corky” Messner, a lawyer who lives in New Hampshire, became the first person to announce concrete plans to do just that. [Continue reading…]