Home Conservative News Steve Calabresi’s rejoinder on January 6, Insurrection and Rebellion

Steve Calabresi’s rejoinder on January 6, Insurrection and Rebellion

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Shay’s Rebellion (1786)

(Bettman Archive)

(Bettman Archive)

Steve Calabresi posted a very quick response to my blog explaining why the attack of January 6, 2021 on the Capitol is an insurrection. But I’m still not convinced. Steve’s emphasis on the use of the word “rebellion”—in addition to “insurrection”—in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment only reinforces my point.

Steve relies upon the legal rule that The sociis nociturIn this case, “insurrection”, which appears in Section 3 in the same phrase (“insurrection or rebellion”) should be interpreted as “similar” to “rebellion”.  He then claims that “rebellions” are limited to uprisings of a size comparable to those in the Civil War.

Although it’s reasonable to read them together, neither word can be interpreted so as to make the second redundant. This would be a violation of another long-standing rule in legal interpretation, the canon against excess. As Justice Scalia & Bryan Garner explain, Reading LawThe law requires that courts give effect to every word and provision in a statute and ensure that there are “no…



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