On Friday’s broadcast of Newsmax TV’s “The Record,” Harvard Law Professor and Newsmax Legal Analyst Alan Dershowitz stated that the notion that states can decide whether or not a presidential candidate is eligible under the 14th Amendment is ridiculous because the framers of the 14th Amendment would have never allowed former Confederate states to decide who could run for president and therefore gave that power to Congress.
Dershowitz said, “The 14th Amendment provides in Section 5 that Congress, not the states, Congress can enforce this provision. Now, remember who wrote the 14th Amendment, Radical Republican reconstructionists who didn’t trust the states. They would never have left the decision [on] who can run for president to South Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama, members of the Confederacy. Of course they left it only to Congress. The idea that states, one at a time, can decide who’s disqualified is the most absurd reading of a constitutional provision I have ever seen.”
He added, “[T]he idea that a secretary of state, whether appointed, anointed, or elected, a secretary of state can decide who the next president’s going to be, what could be more undemocratic than that? That’s what Putin would do. That’s what Stalin did. That’s what the heads of banana republics in South America did. That’s what China, that’s what Iran does. … I don’t want Donald Trump to be elected president, but I want the right to vote against him. And I want the vote to be fair. I want him to be defeated on the merits, [resoundingly], without him being able to have a complaint.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett