The whole “you can’t penalize Donald Trump because he hasn’t been convicted of insurrection” argument is a dodge based upon ignorance.

The “leave the animal alone” argument is based upon a mistaken understanding that blocking him from appearing on primary ballots in Colorado and Maine is punitive — an unfair punishment, his defenders believe, because Trump hasn’t been found guilty of insurrection in a court of law.

In fact section 3 of the 14th amendment is not about bitch-slapping an alleged insurrectionist but defending the workings of government from what judges may believe to be potential malignancy.

Leading section 3 scholar Mark Graber (University of Maryland school of law) says the amendment is about “qualification for office, not a punishment for a criminal offense.”

— from a 12.26 Guardian essay by Sidney Blumenthal. The subhead reads, “The [Supreme Court] can only rescue Trump by shredding originalism and textualism. Will it?”