It has been strange to see Trumpist Republican arguments that a provision of the Constitution should be nullified because it is at odds with the democratic imperative to let the voters decide—when the whole reason the Section 3 of the 14th Amendment question is in play is that Donald Trump and his supporters rejected the decision of voters in 2020 as well as the Constitutional provisions to implement it. The consistency in the Trumpist belief is that the former president is above both the rule of law and democracy.

Jamelle Bouie makes a good argument for “a plain reading of Section 3”—and against objections to disqualifying Trump as a candidate in the 2024 presidential election.

The unspoken assumption behind the idea that Trump should be allowed on the ballot and that the public should have the chance to choose for or against him yet again is that he will respect the voice of the electorate. But we know this isn’t true. It wasn’t true after the 2016 presidential election — when, after winning the Electoral College, he sought to delegitimize the popular vote victory of his opponent as fraud — and it was put into stark relief after the 2020 presidential election.

Trump is not simply a candidate who does not believe in the norms, values and institutions we call American democracy — although that is troubling enough. Trump is all that and a former president who used the power of his office to try to overturn constitutional government in the United States.