Last week, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives impeached former President Donald Trump for the second time, accusing him of inciting an insurrection against the U.S. government.
The articles of impeachment have yet to be sent to the Senate and Trump's fate remains unclear. According to a Friday report from The Hill, however, some Democrats are considering using the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to prevent him from ever holding office again.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that "the remedies of the 14th Amendment certainly may be appropriate for someone who incites an insurrection as Donald Trump did," but stressed that talk of barring the former commander-in-chief from holding office was still hypothetical.
Blumenthal's fellow Connecticuter Chris Murphy said that using the 14th Amendment was "certainly a possibility," but described it as an "avenue separate and aside from impeachment."
Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia conceded that the idea is being contemplated and suggested that he would be in favor of invoking the constitutional mechanism. He noted that he wants President Joe Biden and his administration to have the space necessary to pursue their agenda, but said that he is "quite confident" that Congress could take action.
Crucially, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has made it clear that he is of the opinion that Trump should never be able to lead the United States again, seemingly signaling support for using the 14th Amendment.
"After what he has done, the consequences of which we were all witness to, Donald Trump should not be eligible to run for office ever again."The upper chamber is divided 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans and conviction would require two-thirds of the vote, so it remains unclear if pro-impeachment lawmakers even have the votes to convict Trump. However, barring him being elected again would only require a simple majority.
Legal experts are divided on the issue. University of Chicago Law School's Daniel Hemel, for instance, said that barring Trump from running again "would raise serious constitutional questions."
"Trump's defenders would no doubt argue that the law violates the bill of attainder clause, and unlike many of Trump's legal arguments, this one would be far from frivolous," Hemel said.
However, the University of Virginia's Philip Zelikow recently argued that "Congress can apply the 14th Amendment disqualification to Trump, by majority vote."
Some Republicans, meanwhile, are already pushing to impeach Biden. As The Inquisitr reported, one day after Biden was sworn-in, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia filed impeachment articles, accusing him of cashing in on his political connections.