Constitutional Clash: Donald Trump’s Challenge to the 14th Amendment

Throwing out the Constitution: Donald Trump vs. the 14th Amendment

Following the end of the Civil War in 1865, the Constitution, then 76 years old, underwent significant revisions, notably with the passing of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, collectively known as the Reconstruction Era amendments. The 13th Amendment, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery, while the 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, granted voting rights to newly emancipated Black men.

However, it was the 14th Amendment, initially drafted in 1866 and ratified in 1868, that would have the most profound impact and would today stand as a significant barrier between Donald Trump and his aspirations for authoritarian rule.

While much attention has rightfully been given to its “insurrection” clause (Section 3) and the debate over whether Trump’s actions on January 6 disqualify him from holding office, other key provisions of the amendment also clash with his actions.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump (Credits: ABC News)

Donald Trump’s disregard for constitutional principles is evident in various instances. He has violated parts of the Constitution such as the “emoluments” clause and the “appropriations” clause. Despite legal challenges, he diverted military funds for his border wall project, and his businesses received substantial payments from foreign governments during his presidency.

Trump’s opposition to birthright citizenship, guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, is particularly notable. He has expressed intentions to abolish birthright citizenship despite the legal consensus that such a move would require a constitutional amendment. His administration’s policies on immigration and foreign affairs have often conflicted with the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

The 14th Amendment’s guarantee of “due process” and “equal protection under the laws” has been crucial in advancing civil rights in the United States. However, Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court have raised concerns about the commitment to these principles, as demonstrated by recent rulings on affirmative action and abortion rights.

Trump’s involvement in the January 6th insurrection has prompted legal challenges based on the third section of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits individuals who have engaged in insurrection from holding public office. While some states have moved to bar him from future ballots, it remains uncertain whether the Supreme Court will uphold these actions.

Trump’s presidency has been marked by a disregard for constitutional norms and principles. Despite legal challenges, he has continued to pursue policies and actions that undermine the foundations of American democracy. The enforcement of the 14th Amendment remains a crucial political and legal issue in safeguarding the rights of all citizens.

Im Ashley, I'm from India but you will often find me covering non india celebrity news.