Section 3 - The Mother Edition
Lots of history happened this week.
Happy Friday, Okay History Friends! Thanks for your support!
What a week we have had, right? Huge news! Can you believe what took place?
Yes, that’s right – my mom became a subscriber – and paid one at that!
This confirms that as the youngest of five children, I am clearly the favorite. How many other Dake siblings have blogs/newsletters out in the world? The answer - none. But you have to ask, even if they did, would Mom support their work? I can’t answer that. No one can answer that.
But I’m happy to have you here, Mom. Welcome! This certainly means I need to call you more regularly.
My Mom subscribes to Okay History. Does yours?
Today, we are back with another Ask Me Anything edition, and again, we are focused on the Supreme Court and former president and legal job creator Donald Trump. Last month, I tackled the issue of the Colorado State Supreme Court removing former President Donald Trump from the primary ballot because he incited an insurrection on January 6, 2021.
I’m back now since the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the case yesterday.
This leads me to have a bunch of questions I’m asking today:
First up - Do I agree with what I wrote in January?
My fundamental argument is that Trump will ultimately win and be on the ballot this fall. I argued that we need more than random state courts and secretaries of state ruling one by one that Trump must be removed.
So, I still agree with that premise; from what I have read, most justices agree.
I asked why the presidency isn’t explicitly mentioned in Section 3, and a bunch of actual historians wrote a brief in support of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that the guys who wrote and passed the 14th Amendment did mean to include the president. Thank goodness for good record-keeping, but it still bugs me that Congress removed the words in the final version.
Trump’s defense relied heavily on the idea that the president isn’t an officer of the United States. It appears the justices disagree with that point of view.
Trump’s lawyers also suggest he didn’t cite an insurrection, which I think he did. But as I wrote in the piece, what I think doesn’t matter. Trump still walks around cheating at golf with impunity, which proves no one can think him into a prison sentence.
On the other hand, plenty of people think Trump did no wrong. The other day, Florida Representative and perpetual creep Matt Gaetz introduced a resolution denying Trump engaged in an insurrection. Over 60 Republicans co-sponsored the measure. This issue isn’t going away until some institution convicts Trump, and then you can apply Section 3.
I mean, if we are going to imply that the president is an officer, we must also imply that he needs to be convicted. Go all out on the implications, everyone.
Here’s my next question – What will the Supreme Court do?
I think the Court will decide what I suggested it should – 9-0 or 8-1 vote in overturning Colorado, with Sotomayor as the lone dissenter. This is based on my experience with the Court, which is none, and the information I have read over the past day, which is a lot, but I’m sure I’m missing stuff.
This is where we are - we can’t have Trump on some of the states’ ballots and not on others because some states decided he committed treason, which again, and I can’t stress this enough, he has yet to be convicted of. Our federal elections need a unified system that allows every state to be equal regarding qualifications. We can point to the Constitution as to what those qualifications are.
So the Court will say Colorado was wrong, make up some legal theory out of thin air, and wait for someone else to figure this out.
Final Question – Okay, so Trump will be on the ballot. What if Trump wins the election?
If America reelects Trump, we will get the government we deserve. But we get that anyway.
Our Supreme Court is filled with Federalist Society members with serious ethical challenges. They were put there to deliver a specific interpretation of the Constitution to fit the needs of the Republican Party. The concept is not wrong – it’s perfectly within the system. If you dislike the outcome, I guess you need to vote harder, which probably means voting often and across state lines. The GOP has gamed the system, and here we are with a former president charged with 91 indictments and a Court that has three members who were lawyers during the 2000 presidential election and lawyered the heck out of Florida to secure the win. Now, they sit in judgment as to whether the next Republican president can be on the ballot.
All of this can be traced to those who have voted Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1980 and introduced the idea of individualism above all else – sacrifice nothing.
The Court’s issues extend even further. On January 6, the wife of one Justice texted the White House Chief of Staff, encouraging the president to stand firm on an election she believed was stolen and presumably spoke to her husband about it. Justice Thomas did not recuse himself because who is going to make him?
We got another justice who still hasn’t told us who paid off his $200,000 credit card debt and his $1.2 million mortgage. Who’s going to make him come clean?
Here’s something I just came across and didn’t realize earlier – if the Court decides it cannot remove Trump from the ballot, then January 6, 2025, could be another disaster where we will need to describe which January 6th event you are talking about.
Because we could have a situation where Trump is on the ballot, then he gets convicted of inciting an insurrection, then elected. Congress could then be tied up for months, and whoever the Vice President is would be the actual president.
If Biden wins, the Republicans will object. If heaven forbid, Trump wins, then you can be sure the Democrats will raise holy hell in objections. Either way, the day before I turn 49 will not be good.
Justice Jackson questioned whether it would be wise for the Court to agree that Trump isn’t an officer of the United States and that ruling alone would prevent an objection, but I don’t see how that is possible.
As I wrote earlier, we are in this situation because Donald Trump, a person who interchanges party affiliations like he does ex-wives, became a Republican once again in 2009 and leaned into his racism by questioning the citizenship of America’s first black president. Then, we elected him to replace that president.
We get what we deserve.
There is some hope for clarity. On Tuesday, the US Court of Appeals ruled that the former president doesn’t have immunity to do whatever he wants to do regarding the law he swore to support, regardless of his status. He was acquitted to be removed from office, but he can still be punished based on his status as a citizen. This is a good thing.
So, we have a lot of questions today. Why did Mother Dake decide to become a subscriber now? Will she comment below? How do you think the Court will rule? What could happen this fall?
Mom took her time deciding to subscribe. I’ve been doing this for three years, and I maybe hadn’t mentioned it for like two and a half of those years. Still, over the holidays, she overcame strong commentary from my oldest brother, who announced he stopped reading OKH, and my oldest sister, who questioned whether I understood math when describing people from long ago.
These are legitimate counterarguments that my mother, like the Supreme Court, weighed heavily and came out in my favor. We see how the Court decides.
Anonymous told me this week that she is being honored as a top spy, and we will attend an event in a few months to celebrate her spyness. That means I will be busting out my tux. Yes, I own a tux. I’m a white guy who lives in Washington, DC, works in fundraising, and is almost 50 years old. A tux is a wardrobe staple. I’m looking forward to it and meeting other spies. Blue and I are glad she returned from her latest mission.
I hope you have a good weekend. I’ll be back on Monday, and maybe we will have a decision on Trump before then. The craziness continues. Speaking of crazy, enjoy the SUPER BOWL!