Part three of the Fourteenth Modification prohibited any particular person from serving within the Home or Senate, or from being a presidential elector, if they’d betrayed their oath of loyalty to the US and joined the Confederacy throughout the American Civil Warfare. Whether or not Part Three accomplishes something extra stays unclear from a historic perspective and ambiguous from a constitutional textual content perspective. Part three doesn’t expressly apply to (1) future rebellions or insurrections, (2) individuals elected to the presidency of the US, (3) individuals in search of to qualify as candidates for president, or (4) ) point out whether or not the applying of part three requires the adoption of enabling laws.
Earlier variations of the third part included variations that expressly named the workplace of President of the US, expressly prohibited presidential candidates from qualifying as candidates, and expressly utilized to previous and future rebellions. Congress omitted all of this language from the ultimate model of the third part. This latter language led the Home’s high lawyer to imagine that the textual content didn’t embody the workplace of president. Although just one member disagreed, their change was not reported within the press, leaving open the likelihood that much less refined members of the general public would additionally learn the textual content as excluding the workplace of president. The exclusion wouldn’t have been “absurd” for the reason that Electoral Clause ensured that solely loyal electors may vote for the president.
The principal drafters and ratifiers additionally expressly insisted that part three wouldn’t be self-executing. As Thaddeus Stevens defined, the third part “is not going to run itself,” and at the least some contributors within the ratification assemblies expressly agreed (nobody claimed in any other case). Relating to future rebellions, historic data reveal that authors and ratifiers are divided on the attainable software of the textual content to future insurrections. In abstract, the historic data help Jacob Howard’s rationalization of the unique understanding and scope of the third part: The supply was “meant to forged a form of stigma, a form of odiousness upon the leaders of this revolt, and no different means is left for doing so than by a provision of this sort. It stays traditionally unclear whether or not the general public understood that the ambiguous textual content allowed for one thing extra.