Professors Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram Amar Revise their Stance on the ‘Global’ Rule for the Constitution’s ‘Offices’ and ‘Officers’

Co-authored with Professor Seth Barrett Tillman and filed in Trump v. Anderson, a recent amicus brief by Professors Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram Amar suggests that the Supreme Court should disqualify Trump from the ballot, despite being styled as in support of neither party. This stance marks a significant shift from the position they put forward in a 1995 Stanford Law Review article, as their recent commentary does not acknowledge this change. In the past, they argued that rank-and-file members of Congress, the Speaker of the House, and the Senate President Pro Tempore cannot be placed in the line of presidential succession. However, now they seem to endorse the view that state legislators should be considered Officers as used in the Constitution and the Presidential Succession Clause, which contradicts their earlier claim that there is a “global” officer/legislator distinction in the Constitution from 1788 to 1868. This inconsistency is evident in their recent brief, which suggests a new Section-3 related historical narrative. Regardless of the case’s outcome, this shift in the Amars’ position warrants further examination and discussion.