Opinion

Trump’s Call for ‘Termination’ of the Constitution

More from our inbox:

  • Does the 14th Amendment Disqualify Trump?
  • Stopping the Deaths in New York City Jails
  • I May Have Saved a Life!

Donald J. Trump last month declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.Credit…Saul Martinez for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Trump’s Call to Suspend Constitution Gets Rebukes” (news article, Dec. 5):

Former President Donald Trump’s call to overturn the 2020 election through “the termination of all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the Constitution” underscores (yet again) his unfitness for any position of public trust.

The presidential oath, which Mr. Trump took in 2017 and would take again if he were to prevail in the 2024 election, consists of a vow to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Mr. Trump has now disavowed this obligation in word, after repeatedly doing so throughout his presidency in deed. Case closed.

No less unfit are those politicians who, placing personal ambition above defending the Constitution, are too shamelessly craven to condemn him.

Stephen A. Silver
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Donald Trump’s strategy is clear. It is to manipulate the media into continuing to cover him by making each statement more outrageous than the previous one.

Leonard R. Stamm
Silver Spring, Md.

To the Editor:

The call over the weekend by former President Donald Trump for the “termination” of rules in the Constitution in order to reinstate him to the White House based on his bogus claim of election fraud makes one wonder how, if he is re-elected, he would handle the two-term constitutional restriction.

Marshall H. Tanick
Minneapolis
The writer is a lawyer.

Does the 14th Amendment Disqualify Trump?

Credit…Damon Winter/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Is Donald Trump Ineligible to Be President?,” by Jesse Wegman (Opinion, nytimes.com, Nov. 24):

There is no question that Donald Trump is ineligible under the 14th Amendment, Section 3. Given the amendment’s broad language, under which the disqualification extends not only to those who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” but also to those who have “given aid or comfort” to those who have done so, the case against Mr. Trump is particularly clear.

Functionally, the application of this law would require someone to challenge his candidacy and for a court to hold that the amendment applies. Mr. Wegman may be right that the ideal way for Mr. Trump to be defeated is for the electorate to reject him. But the danger that Mr. Trump poses is vastly too great to wait and see how another election turns out. The law clearly states that he is ineligible, and the law should not be subject to political considerations.

Ron Meyers
New York
The writer is a lawyer.

To the Editor:

If a highly qualified medical doctor comes to you and says you have cancer and this is backed by tests and X-rays or biopsies, you don’t sit there debating while the cancer grows. You get ready to act swiftly. Yet, we have a real cancer on our democracy and we get all wishy-washy. Oh, my, what should we do? Act now or wait until democracy becomes roadkill in 2025?

What if members of Congress, specifically the speaker, or even the vice president had been killed on Jan. 6, 2021? Would we be having calm debates or looking for the best tool to neutralize the threat? Are the deaths of Capitol Police officers just dismissed? What if Donald Trump had found his way to the Capitol and actually cheered on the rioters, as he apparently did in absentia from the White House watching it on television?

Now is the time to act. Delaying can only make matters much worse on many levels.

Jesse Wegman made no mention of who would invoke the provisions of the 14th Amendment in an attempt to bar Mr. Trump from future office. It is not going to invoke itself; someone has to step up.

Doug Terry
Olney, Md.
The writer covered Congress and the White House as a reporter and managing editor.

To the Editor:

Of course he isn’t eligible, but the answer is not in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. It’s in an indictment and conviction. If there is evidence to invoke Section 3 of the 14th Amendment then there is enough evidence to indict and convict this multiple offender.

In addition, there are serious and complicated questions as to how Section 3 is procedurally implemented and enforced. It could turn into a political circus.

We all understand what a criminal indictment is. Just do it.

Peter Alkalay
Scarsdale, N.Y.
The writer is a lawyer.

To the Editor:

Jesse Wegman asks, “How does a democracy protect itself against a political leader who is openly hostile to democratic self-rule?”

Democracy should not seek or wish to exclude anyone, especially a “political leader” like Donald Trump, from running for president. Democracy is best served through the ballot box. Most opposing candidates would welcome an opponent like the former president.

A resolution in Congress to use Section 3 against Mr. Trump would be seen as an attempt to pervert the course of democracy and a sign of weakness. Democracy should not fear anyone or their beliefs, ideas, denials, lies or half-truths.

Trust in the voters freely exercising their vote, because without that democracy will eventually fail. The voters are the protectors of democracy — they ultimately decide if someone is ineligible!

Aidan Roddy
Dublin

Stopping the Deaths in New York City Jails

The prison facilities at Rikers Island.Credit…Uli Seit for The New York Times

To the Editor:

It is clear that New York City alone cannot protect those held in its jails or the people who work in them. Appointing a “receiver” — a neutral expert to take over the jail system — is vital to address and remedy this crisis. We do not make this statement lightly.

For 55 years, the Fortune Society has been supporting people during custody and upon their release through direct service and advocacy. Alongside and in partnership with state and city agencies, we provide resources and policy solutions. We have watched as this crisis in our jails has grown exponentially in recent years.

The culture of dysfunction, neglect and abuse in our city jails is too deeply entrenched to be solved without creative and external intervention and authority.

We cannot stand by routine and conventional processes. Without bold and immediate action, more people in custody will die preventable deaths and more officers will remain at risk of being injured. We join the growing chorus of elected officials and advocates who call for the appointment of a receiver.

JoAnne Page
Queens
The writer is the president and C.E.O. of the Fortune Society.

I May Have Saved a Life!

To the Editor:

Re “How to Save a Life,” by Delia Ephron (Opinion guest essay, Nov. 26):

Ms. Ephron describes the benefits of bone marrow transplants for the recipient as well as the ease of signing up — and donating — for the donor. As someone who donated bone marrow to a stranger in 2015, I can confirm that the opportunity to donate bone marrow is extraordinarily rewarding for the donor.

In 2007 I signed up for the Be the Match registry after my cousin’s 7-year-old son died of leukemia (after failing to find a match). I then gave the registry very little thought, until I received a call eight years later, telling me that I had matched with a patient in need.

When I left the hospital after undergoing the procedure, I felt tremendously happy. After all, it’s the only opportunity I’ve ever had — and probably will have — to possibly save someone’s life. And that experience was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve ever had.

Catherine A. Sanderson
Hadley, Mass.

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