After reading both Miriam Ginden’s Open Mic column (May 10) and Barry Barnett’s letter to the editor (May 31), I became intrigued by the possibility of barring from elected office anyone who participated in, encouraged or supported the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021.
Upon researching the Disqualification Clause, I found that the clause makes no mention of requiring a vote of Congress to enforce it, but it does allow Congress to exempt insurrectionists from being subject to the clause if two-thirds vote to do so.
However, enforcing the Disqualification Clause and applying it to current or prospective elected officials does not require a vote of Congress. Those accused of insurrection, including current members of Congress, can be tried in a court of law, and if found guilty, would automatically become ineligible to hold office, unless two-thirds of Congress votes to overturn the court’s decision.
It is my opinion that the Disqualification Clause of the 14th Amendment amends Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution to make expulsion for insurrection automatic, rather than subject to a vote of Congress.