Constitutional law is not “just” politics, but neither is it separate from politics. (...)That’s why we have to take Donald Trump’s claims about the Fourteenth Amendment seriously. I mean “seriously” here in a specific sense. It’s true that these claims are not, as of now, anything like winning constitutional claims. But they might be soon. Our constitutional culture, especially in this partisan age, is one in which the leading figures of a political party can turbocharge a constitutional argument’s journey from crazy, to vaguely plausible, to serious, to convincing, and finally, maybe, to the United States Reports. In a moment of deep partisanship, in a polity where apparently Donald Trump must be taken seriously as a popular figure within the Republican Party, this argument about the Fourteenth Amendment might be on the verge of takeoff—whether Trump’s own candidacy continues into the stratosphere or collapses next week.
In his usual shambolic way, Trump actually seemed to state the way constitutional change works in the current legal and political environment better than some of his colleagues and some constitutional lawyers.