Monday Miscellany, 10/16/23

Monday Miscellany, 10/16/23 October 16, 2023

The cost of Ivy-League radicalism; “preserve, protect and defend” doesn’t mean “support”; and Bigfoot makes an appearance.

The Cost of Ivy-League Radicalism

The Ivy League is full of leftwing activists.  But the one thing woke students at our elite universities value more than their intersectional allies is their careers.

After 34 student organizations at Harvard issued a statement blaming Israel for its invasion by Hamas, Bill Ackman of the big financial firm Pershing Square Capital Management called on the university to release the names of the students in those organizations so that he will know not to hire them.  Other C.E.O.s joined in the request.

Whereupon at least 5 of the 34 student groups that signed the statement rescinded their support, with some members issuing apologies.  Meanwhile, the list of signatories has been removed from the public statement.  But websites have been identifying the particular students who are members of the pro-Hamas groups.

At protests on other campuses nationwide on Friday’s “Day of Jihad,” as proclaimed by Hamas, organizers told demonstrators to wear masks or other face coverings.

Wealthy donors should also have second thoughts about what they are supporting.  As universities have been taken over by the hard left, their donations have risen 12.5%.

“Preserve, Protect and Defend” Doesn’t Mean “Support”

A Colorado court is hearing a case contending that Donald Trump is disqualified from being president again because of Article 14. Section 3 of the Constitution:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Trump’s lawyers are arguing that this post-Civil War restriction does not apply to presidents.  This is because, as of an 1884 statute, vice-presidents, senators, representatives, and other federal employees have to swear this oath:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Presidents, though, according to Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Because the presidential oath doesn’t include the word “support,” as the Fourteenth Amendment does, the prohibition does not apply to presidents, just all other officers whose oath included the s- word.

That’s the argument, but surely to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” is just an unpacking of what it means to “support”!  It gives specifics as to what “support” entails as it applies to the office of the presidency.  A government bureaucrat should “support” the Constitution but doesn’t really have the ability to protect it and defend it like the Commander in Chief does.

The press is spinning this as, to quote a headline, Trump tells court he had no duty to ‘support’ the Constitution as president.  But Trump never said that.  This is just incompetent lawyering.  They would do better to focus on what “insurrection and rebellion” mean and the fact that Trump has never been found guilty of that.

But this is a sign of a problem he may have in all of his legal troubles.  He has burned through so many lawyers–and, I suspect, the best lawyers don’t want to represent him–that he may not have competent representation.

Just to finish off the topic, here are some related facts I uncovered:

Article VI of the Constitution mandates that:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

The exact wording of that oath to support the Constitution was not specified, but, according to the Supreme Court website, from 1789 until 1861, these words were used: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.”  That would have been the oath sworn to (or affirmed, for the Quakers in their number) by the renegades who joined the Confederacy.  A number of variations were used until Congress passed the 1884 wording, which has been used ever since.

The Fourteenth Amendment was passed in 1868 to prevent officials who reneged on their oath of office to support the Confederacy from holding office in the restored Union.

Bigfoot Makes an Appearance

“Believe in yourself, especially when no one else will.”  Sasquatch



See this from the Denver Gazette for background and for a closeup.

Thanks to my sister, Mary Smith, for the meme.

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