After last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol, there has been a lot of reference to invoking the 25th Amendment and now there is some talk in Washington about the 14th Amendment. St. John’s University Political Science Professor Phil Kronebusch says the 14th Amendment was passed after the Civil War:

“And it includes a provision that was then designed to prevent anyone who sympathizes with the confederacy from ever holding public office. But the wording of that doesn’t refer to the confederacy it says anyone who supported insurrection or provided aid or comfort to people who supported insurrection could be prohibited from public office.”

Kronebusch says it would be up to Congress to interpret the meaning of “insurrection”. It would only require a simple majority vote in both the House and Senate instead of a two-thirds majority.

As for the suggestion that President Trump being banned from social media sites infringes on his 1st Amendment rights, Kronebusch points out the amendment only prohibits the government from restricting speech, not private companies.