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This Week in Schadenfreude: It's a (Seditious) Conspiracy

If you're just joining us after heading over from Fox's website/cable channel—which surely must be the case for, what, half of our readers?—we've got another story on the legal beat that you will not have heard about. Yesterday, Henry "Enrique" Tarrio and three other members of the pro-Trump extremist group the Proud Boys, all of whom are antidemocratic bigots, were found guilty of seditious conspiracy (a fifth defendant was exonerated).

Sentencing has not been scheduled, but it's expected to happen sometime in July (Fox presumably won't cover that, either). Each of the four convicted defendants was popped for at least one crime that carries a sentence of 20 years. People don't often get the maximum, but certainly these fellows will be spending a nice, long time as guests of the federal correctional system. Couldn't happen to nicer guys. They're appealing, of course, but those who followed the trial said they are grasping at the thinnest of straws.

We largely pass this story along for one reason, and it's not to demonstrate that Fox is a farce of a "news organization." If we wanted to demonstrate that, we could do it literally on a daily basis. No, we pass this story along because of this portion of the Fourteenth Amendment:

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.

Between the debt ceiling and Donald Trump's activities on 1/6, the Fourteenth Amendment is the heavy favorite to win the coveted "Amendment of the Year" award for 2023. In any event, if Donald Trump ends up as the Republican frontrunner next year, there are going to be lawsuits filed asking various courts to declare him ineligible to serve in public office. Maybe those suits will come from private groups, maybe they'll come from government officials (like Pennsylvania AG Michelle Henry), maybe both (presumably, any American citizen would have standing). And the more people that are convicted of crimes in relation to 1/6, particularly if the crime is seditious conspiracy, the easier it would seem to be to make the case that Trump "shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the [United States], or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof." (Z)

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