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Trump Ineligible to Serve As Speaker

US President Donald Trump (R) gestures next to US Congressman Kevin McCarthy as they deliver remarks to Rural Stakeholders on California Water Accessibility in Bakersfield, California, on February 19, 2020. (Photo by... US President Donald Trump (R) gestures next to US Congressman Kevin McCarthy as they deliver remarks to Rural Stakeholders on California Water Accessibility in Bakersfield, California, on February 19, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 6, 2023 10:54 a.m.

TPM Reader JO makes a point I confess had not occurred to me. If Republicans again place Donald Trump’s name in nomination to serve as the next speaker, Democrats should raise a point of order that Trump is in fact ineligible to serve as speaker under the 14th Amendment because he previously “engaged in insurrection” against the United States. The Constitution placed essentially no qualifications on potential speakers. They do not have to be members of Congress. But the 14th Amendment prohibition clearly trumps that open door by disqualifying anyone who has engaged in insurrection or rebellion from holding “any office, civil or military, under the United States.” That unquestionably includes the speakership, one of only a handful of federal offices explicitly created by the constitutional text. If Trump engaged in insurrection, he is clearly ineligible to serve as speaker.

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