". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Dems Weigh Whether to Certify a Trump 2024 Victory

February 27, 2024

Congressional Democrats are signaling that they may not certify a 2024 victory for former President Donald Trump. Senior Democrats, such as Representatives James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), have balked at the prospect of certifying electoral votes that Trump might win in November, according to a recent report from The Atlantic. Most congressional Democrats have expressed a hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will declare Trump ineligible to run for or hold office again under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, a Civil War-era clause which bars traitors and “insurrectionists” from holding office.

Some, like Schiff and Swalwell, confirmed that they would certify a Trump victory only if the Supreme Court rules definitively that the former president is eligible to hold the highest executive office again. “I’m going to follow the law,” Swalwell told The Atlantic. “I would not object out of protest of how the Supreme Court comes down.”

However, if the Supreme Court does not directly address Trump’s eligibility and instead leaves the question of whether or not he engaged in “insurrection” up to Congress, Democratic leaders have expressed that they may choose to discard any electoral votes the former president wins and simply consider him ineligible to be president again under the 14th Amendment. Schiff called the potential situation a “chaos hypothetical.” Clyburn bluntly stated, “I think he’s an insurrectionist,” referring to the 45th President.

The Supreme Court is currently deliberating on a case involving Trump and the 14th Amendment. Colorado’s highest court decided in December to remove Trump from the Republican primary ballot, citing the 14th Amendment and allegations of “insurrection” leveled against the former president. The line of questioning justices on the Supreme Court took during oral arguments earlier this month suggested that they are primarily concerned with addressing whether or not a state-level court can declare a national candidate ineligible as an insurrectionist, especially without a trial having been conducted in a federal court. But questions raised especially by Biden-appointed Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson focused on whether Section 3 of the 14th Amendment can even apply to a candidate for president.

In comments to The Washington Stand, FRC Action Director Matt Carpenter discussed the hypocrisy of Democrats refusing to certify a potential Trump win, saying, “For more than three years Democrats and their allies in the press have tried to scare the American people by claiming that Donald Trump, and his voters, are a threat to democracy. This is even a central part of the president’s reelection strategy.” He added, “However, what is painfully obvious to any honest observer is that it is the Democrats who have weaponized law enforcement and the courts to go after their political opponents.”

Carpenter continued, “A closer look at this left-wing legal insurrection — with its bogus real estate fraud charges and obvious double standard with respect to the treatment of classified documents — and you can plainly see these Democrats are panicked that President Biden will not earn enough votes from the American people to win a second term. So, in a stunning act of hypocrisy, these Democrats, in the name of preserving democracy, work to preempt the results of a democratic process.”

Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) pointed out the difference between Trump and other Republicans challenging the results of the 2020 election and what she called the “very murky” potential challenge Democrats may mount after November. While both Republicans and Democrats have challenged the legitimacy of previous elections, alleging voter fraud or improper handling or counting of ballots, no one has yet challenged a presidential election’s outcome on the basis of the 14th Amendment. Lofgren said that she thinks Trump is “clearly ineligible” but admitted that “there’s no procedure, per se, for challenging on this basis.”

During oral arguments before the Supreme Court, Colorado lawyer Jason Murray urged the court to make a decision regarding Trump’s eligibility to run for and hold office, saying that if no ruling is issued, “it could come back with a vengeance.” That sentiment has been echoed by Democratic leadership, who don’t want to certify a Trump victory but are also hesitant to reject democratically-won electoral votes. “That would be a colossal disaster,” Schiff quipped. “We already had one horrendous January 6. We don’t need another.”

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.