ST. PAUL, Minn. -- It's a debate over a Civil War era clause in the U.S. Constitution that bars anyone who supported an insurrection from holding office.
To many. this issue sounded theoretical until last week when the Minnesota Supreme Court decided to hold a hearing on a bi-partisan lawsuit on Nov. 2.
Tucked into the 14th Amendment is Section 3, which says anyone who has "previously taken an oath" to the constitution and then "engaged in insurrection or rebellion," "or given aid or comfort," can't be president or vice president, or hold any office, in the United States.
Groups are using the clause to challenge former President Donald Trump's presence on state ballots.
The lawsuit could knock Trump off the ballot for Minnesota's Super Tuesday primary on March 5, 2024.
Former State Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson, a Republican, is among those supporting the lawsuit.
"I don't think he has followed his oath and the constitution," Anderson said. "He has, by his actions, disqualified himself from running for office."
Hamline University and University of Minnesota Constitutional Law Professor David Schultz thinks it will be hard to disqualify Trump.
"Basically convince the court to say that even though Trump has not been convicted of anything yet," Schultz said. "There still is authority for the court to declare that he is an insurrectionist and therefore can be thrown off the ballot."
Esme Murphy asked Abou Amara, a Democratic consultant and attorney, if Trump's pending legal cases will have any impact on this hearing.
"The 14th Amendment doesn't require that you be convicted of insurrection," Amara said. "Remember, it was passed at a time when the Civil War was happening. There were lots of folks who never were prosecuted."
Meanwhile, Preya Samsundar, a Republican consultant, told Murphy she believes it's all political.
"We're talking about a former sitting president of the United States who's running for re-election, who is now being told he may or may not be allowed on the ballot because some folks don't like the policies that he did," Samsundar said.
NOTE: Below is a preview of Talking Points presented on "The 4."
Stay tuned to WCCO for continuing coverage as this issue heads to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
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