The “Insurrection Clause” Doesn’t Apply Without a Declaration of Insurrection

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Any legal debate eventually becomes mired in legalisms. Given time and scope, the debate spins out of control and ceases to be about the basic facts and instead becomes tangled in past precedent and defining terms until the cows come home.

In the real world, legislation has fairly clear intent. That’s why originalism is important. Beyond upholding the Constitution, it provides a reality check on debates like these.

The (unconstitutional) Colorado decision barring former President Trump from the ballot has unleashed a wave of debates about whether the 3rd section of the 14th Amendment actually requires conviction, whether it’s meant to be implemented by Congress and other such matters. Is it a criminal matter or a civil matter?

Please. Stop.

To state the obvious, the “insurrection clause” was meant to bar Confederates from holding public office. What an insurrectionist was, was self-explanatory because there had just …

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