I don’t know how or whether this has any relevance to today’s proceedings and ballot disqualification. But it’s one place where history provides some guidance as to why an amendment is written the way it is. First, I don’t think it makes sense at all that the disqualification clause doesn’t apply to the President. It’s a very over-clever semantic argument that is on par with the logic behind the “independent state legislature” theory: a hyper-literal focus on text without context which has the effect of producing an outcome no one could have intended. But — and this is a significant “but” — it is true that presidents were not what the authors of the language were most concerned about. And that matter of focus may have impacted how they structured the language.
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Why Weren’t Presidents Explicitly Included in the 14th?
February 8, 2024 11:34 a.m.
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