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Old 09-12-2018, 03:11 AM
UltraVires is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 15,192
Originally Posted by Lord Feldon View Post
I guess section 3 should be read in this light too:

"No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. "

A former or current officeholder may engage in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or give aid and comfort to its enemies, subject to the penalty involved (disqualification from federal office).
Unsupported argument:

1) Verb tenses are important. Sec. 3 denies federal office to those who previously swore an oath and who "shall have" engaged in rebellion. It is retrospective, and the text and history do not support an abolish of treason laws which all English society had held for 900 years. This would be an absurd construction.

2) Not so with Section 2. Congressman debating the article conceded that they could not get enough states to approve universal suffrage for men. States openly outlawed voting based upon race without any declaratory judgment actions in federal court. Congress recognized this limitation by passing the 15th amendment only three years later.

3) Congress would not assume a power that it did not hold. Although Congress had the power to punish treason, it did not have the power to prescribe universal male suffrage. The 14th amendment only granted such powers to Congress it stated. So while, it did not say that in addition to disqualifying those who committed treason from holding office, it could also sentence them to death. There was no need; that was preexisting. If the amendment was creating a new right of voting, it would have specified that directly. And, again, the fact that Congressman expressly conceded that it did not, shows that it did not.

Originally Posted by Lord Feldon
Sometimes a legal revolution is cheaper and easier and better than an actual one. Results-oriented thinking isn't all bad.
Any revolution destroys the rule of law. We have a legislature for results oriented thinking. When the judiciary does it, we do not have a democracy, but a rule from nine lawyers.

If an absolute monarch does something positive, that does not make monarchy a positive form of government. Rule by judicial fiat is an anathema to our concept of rule by the people.

Last edited by UltraVires; 09-12-2018 at 03:12 AM.