Laurence H. Tribe and other prominent legal scholars are proposing that the 14th Amendment makes Donald Trump ineligible for the ballot and from holding public office.

Section 3 of that amendment states that any person “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” becomes disqualified from office if that person had engaged “in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

While I deplore Trump’s influence on political discourse and would even walk on hot coals to keep him out of the Oval Office, compelling historical evidence also convinces me that this argument has a fatal flaw: namely, the precedent of Eugene V. Debs.