Enforcing Insurrection Clause Against Former President Donald Trump and Legacy of Peace and the Treaty of Ghent

Enforcing Insurrection Clause Against Former President Donald Trump

On December 19, Colorados top court became the first in the nation to rule that Donald Trump is disqualified from holding office because he engaged in insurrection against the Constitution on January 6, 2021. With this ruling, the Colorado secretary of state will exclude Trumps name from the states Republican primary ballot.

Voters in three other states are also challenging Trumps eligibility to appear on primary ballots based on the 14th Amendments Disqualification clause. It disqualifies from office any individual who has taken an oath to support the Constitution and then engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.

In last weeks Colorado decision, a four-justice majority wrote that they were mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach.
As the other three cases are being decide, some are concerned that enforcing the constitutional accountability clause could escalate political violence.

In a recent Newsweek editorial, Praveen Fernandes emphasized the importance of judges heeding the warning of legal scholar Sherrilyn Ifill. She notes that when judges have hesitated in the past to apply the provisions of the 14th Amendment, it has had the effect of undermining our democracys promise.

Guest – Praveen Fernandes serves as the vice president at the Constitutional Accountability Center in Washington, DC. The center is a public interest law firm and think tank committed to realizing the progressive ideals embedded in the Constitution’s text and history. Praveen brings to the table nearly two decades of experience working on issues related to law, democracy, and civil rights, both within and outside the government.

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Legacy of Peace and the Treaty of Ghent

On February 17, 1815, the United States and Great Britain both ratified the Ghent Treaty in Washington, officially ending the War of 1812. That year, David Low Dodge founded New York Peace Society, the nations first formal peace movement. It was followed by the Massachusetts Peace Society. England founded a peace movement around the same time, with Switzerland and France following suit in 1821 and 1830, respectively. Most other European countries established peace movements after 1850.

Successful nonviolent protest strategies in the U.S. are most often associated with the Civil Rights Movement in the South during the 1950s and 60s. Leaders such as Ella Baker, Martin Luther King, Jr., A.J. Muste, Bayard Rustin and John Lewis dedicated their lives to the philosophy of non-violence and studied its successful use by Mohandas Gandhi to free India from Britains colonial grip.
But as war and carnage wage in the Middle East and in Ukraine, and as political violence is on the uptick in the U.S., peaceful protests dont seem to be as impactful as in earlier decades. Law and Disorder takes a look at the state of peace studies and peace actions in the United States and abroad.

Guest – Matt Meyer, historian and organizer, serves as Secretary-General of the International Peace Research Association. It is the worlds leading consortium of university-based professors, scholars, students and community leaders. Matt is also the Senior Research Scholar of the University of Massachusetts/Amhersts Resistance Studies Initiative and has been active with the War Resisters International and the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, and he serves on the A.J. Muste Institute board. The author/editor of more than a dozen books, Matts work focuses on 21st Century Decolonization, African Peace Studies, the Strategies and Tactics of Movement-building, the significance of support for political prisoners, and the Abolition of White Supremacy. SpiritOfMandela


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