Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution reads:

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.

Could Representative Rashida Tlaib be disqualified from holding office due to her false propaganda in support of US-designated terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad's attack on the hospital and her alleged connections to Hamas?

The Yale Law Journal says:

...speeches or written or printed articles or editorials ... consisting of statements either true or false of existing or of claimed conditions or facts the knowledge of or belief in truth of which, by encouraging would tend to increase his [the enemy's] resistance, or by discouraging would tend to diminish the effective of the United States, would be sufficient foundation for a finding both of adherence to the enemy and of giving of aid and comfort.

However, that is just one opinion. Does it take more concrete support for the enemy according to other opinions?

How would a citizen start the process to disqualify someone who provides aid or comfort to an enemy of the US?

  • 3
    How would a citizen start the process to disqualify someone who provides aid or comfort to an enemy of the US? Establish "standing" for the purpose of bringing suit in a court of law. How to establish standing is a question of Law, not Politics.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 14:26
  • 1
    Fortunately this is a well-answered legal question. Unfortunately this is not a legal forum.
    – bharring
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 16:54
  • 5
    Also it appears you have already decided what the answer is and are looking for something to support your view instead of trying to determine if what she said qualifies or not. With the last part of your question asking how to go about getting her disqualified it is clear you are looking for a specific answer.
    – Joe W
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 17:18
  • 1
    There is already an answer stating that but that doesn't change the fact that your question is asking how to start the process for disqualifying her from the ballot which suggests that you want an answer that says it is disqualifying and not one that says otherwise.
    – Joe W
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 17:44
  • 1
    Voting to reopen. It seems on topic given What's going on with the effort to disqualify Trump in 2023 under the Constitution, Article 14, Clause 3. And given the answers there, it might even be answerable as multiple entities have filed lawsuits aimed at disqualifying Donald Trump. The process for disqualifying a Representative would likely differ, though.
    – Just Me
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 22:51

1 Answer 1



Aid and Comfort have legal meaning. Arguments and propaganda in support of a cause is not "aid and comfort".

Arguing for a position, no matter how factually wrong or repugnant, is not a crime in the US. You have to take concrete steps furthering specific acts/goals, not just advocate them (a legal site can give you more detail).

Remember that even NAMBLA and KKK are legal organizations. You could even, legally, be a communist and still be a congressman at the height of the Red Scare. Nearly impossible to get elected that way (for good reason), but there is no legal litmus test for candidates' policies (for good reason).

(Note that "aid and comfort" is part of the definition of treason, too. It has been explored.)

Edit: https://definitions.uslegal.com/a/aid-and-comfort/

  • It seems you're on the right track, but are you saying that "adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort" of article 3 is that same as "given aid or comfort to the enemies" in article 14? Is there any court decision that supports that?
    – DavePhD
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 17:29
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    @DavePhD Generally, we assume that when the same phrase appears multiple times in the same document, it has the same meaning in each instance, unless we have some specific reason to believe otherwise. Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 17:31
  • @A.R. but the phrases are different (aid OR comfort) versus (adhering to the enemy AND aid AND comfort). Apparently the obligation of allegiance (adhering to the enemy) aspect has to be proven for treason as a separate element.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 17:37
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    @DavePhD Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the meaning of "and" and "or," though we'll probably get a ruling within the next year as part of Pulsifer v. United States. Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 17:41
  • 1
    @JoeW now they took out the objectionable "leading an insurrection" part and censured her for legitimate reasons is a bipartisan manner.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 14:13

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