On Wednesday, Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz launched a brand new modification to the Home Judiciary Committee listening to guidelines, which might require lawmakers to recite the Pledge of Allegiance earlier than every assembly.
Gaetz’s proposal was doubtless geared toward embarrassing Democrats on the committee, who opposed the requirement.
The pledge has been used as a political weapon numerous times in U.S. history, to label those that don’t take part or who oppose its use as unpatriotic. Nativists and white supremacists have additionally used the pledge to assault individuals they deem “un-American” primarily based on their race or immigration standing.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (R-New York), who beforehand chaired the Judiciary Committee, objected to Gaetz’s proposal.
“I don’t know why we must always pledge allegiance twice in the identical day to point out how patriotic we’re,” Nadler said.
Predictably, Gaetz and different committee members fired again, noting that Nadler and others aren’t all the time on the Home ground when the pledge is recited. Nadler responded by saying that there’s documentation of him saying the pledge many occasions.
Later that day, after the Judiciary Committee’s listening to, Gaetz attacked Nadler on social media for opposing his modification. “The Pledge of Allegiance is just not a waste of time,” Gaetz mentioned on Twitter. The account representing the Republican members of the Home Judiciary Committee also rebuked Nadler and Democrats for opposing the idea.
Through the assembly, nevertheless, Rep. David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island) turned the problem on its head. Cicilline proposed including wording to Gaetz’s modification on reciting the pledge specifying that no individual “who supported an revolt in opposition to the USA in any method” must be invited to learn the pledge earlier than the committee.
Republicans voiced their disdain for the thought, decoding it as an assault on some members’ votes in opposition to certifying the 2020 presidential election on January 6, 2021, the day the Capitol was attacked by a mob of loyalists to former President Donald Trump. Gaetz claimed that Democrats “could also be disqualifying [their] personal members” by such an modification, maybe referring to the truth that Democrats have voted in opposition to certifying electors in previous presidential elections (although not practically in the identical numbers as Republicans in 2021).
Cicilline mentioned it was “attention-grabbing” that Gaetz’s thoughts went in that course, since his proposed modification was referring to individuals generally, not solely lawmakers.
“I believe we must always all agree that nobody who participated in revolt ought to lead the Judiciary Committee within the Pledge of Allegiance, so it shouldn’t be sophisticated to just accept this modification,” Cicilline said, including:
This pledge is an affirmation of your protection of democracy and the Structure. It’s laborious to take that declare significantly if in actual fact, a person in any method supported an revolt in opposition to the federal government.
Cicilline’s modification was finally defeated, whereas Gaetz’s modification, requiring that the Pledge of Allegiance be learn earlier than every committee listening to, was passed.
Had Cicilline’s modification handed, it doubtless wouldn’t have been enforced, as it might have given energy to find out whether or not or not somebody is an insurrectionist to the Judiciary Committee Chair, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Just one individual within the U.S. thus far has been efficiently barred from holding future workplace for violating the insurrectionist clause of the 14th Modification — former Cowboys for Trump chief Couy Griffin, who helped coordinate the assault on the Capitol.
Notably, Trump himself may very well be barred from holding workplace sooner or later beneath the insurrectionist clause. Noah Bookbinder, president of Residents for Accountability and Ethics in Washington (CREW), has promised that the group will search to have Trump listed as an insurrectionist beneath the phrases of the 14th Modification.
In an open letter to Trump in November, Bookbinder warned that if Trump introduced one other presidential run, CREW would take applicable motion to bar him “primarily based on [his] partaking within the revolt that culminated on January 6, 2021.”
“The proof that you just engaged in revolt as contemplated by the Fourteenth Modification — together with by mobilizing, inciting, and aiding those that attacked the Capitol — is overwhelming,” Bookbinder wrote, weeks earlier than Trump introduced his 2024 presidential run.