A Response to Ross Douthat: Examining January 6 and the Insurrection

Understanding the January 6 Attack on the Capitol

Understanding the January 6 Attack on the Capitol

The Definition of Insurrection

According to the Fourteenth Amendment, an insurrection is defined as engaging in rebellion or insurrection against the Constitution of the United States. This definition holds even if the perpetrators don’t explicitly state their intentions. By this standard, the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol clearly qualifies as an insurrection. It was a violent event that aimed to obstruct the constitutionally mandated transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election.

The Comparison to Historical Uprisings

When examining historical uprisings, it becomes evident that events much smaller in scale than the Civil War, such as the Whiskey Rebellion and Hitler’s 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, meet the criteria for insurrection. These cases involved violence and the denial of existing political authority, similar to the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

The Confederacy and Section 3

Contrary to the arguments made by columnist Ross Douthat, the Confederates who were the original targets of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment were indeed insurrectionists. While they claimed their actions were in alignment with the Constitution, they were still attempting to break away from the established political structure and assert their own authority. The same logic applies to the perpetrators of the January 6 attack who wrongly believed their actions were justified by their unfounded claims of election fraud.

The Absurdity of Douthat’s Theory

Douthat’s theory that individuals attempting to seize power by force can escape disqualification under Section 3 as long as they claim to be upholding the Constitution is deeply flawed. This would create a dangerous precedent and undermine the rule of law. It is crucial to recognize that violent attempts to subvert the constitutional order constitute insurrection, regardless of the perpetrators’ justifications.

Read More of this Story at reason.com – 2024-01-12 21:23:26

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