A federal judge allowed a challenge to Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's run for reelection to proceed.
A federal judge on Monday declined to dismiss an effort to kick Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene off the ballot in November. Taylor has filed to run for reelection to a second term in the House.
A pair of liberal groups challenged Greene's candidacy in March, demanding that the Georgia secretary of state disqualify her from running for reelection:
As set forth below, after taking the oath to defend and protect the Constitution, before, on, and after January 6, 2021, Greene voluntarily aided and engaged in an insurrection to obstruct the peaceful transfer of presidential power, disqualifying her from serving as a Member of Congress under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and rendering her ineligible under state and federal law to be a candidate for such office.
The so-called "disqualification clause" contained in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, 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, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
The challenge, filed on behalf of Georgia voters by the groups Free Speech For People and Our Revolution Georgia, argues that Greene violated the 14th Amendment because she "was involved in either planning the attack on January 6, or alternatively the planning of the pre-attack demonstration and/or march on the Capitol with knowledge that it was substantially likely to lead to the attack, and otherwise voluntarily aided the insurrection."
Greene asked the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to dismiss the effort to kick her off the ballot, saying that it "violates her First Amendment right to run for political office."
But a federal judge on Monday said the challenge could proceed: "This case involves a whirlpool of colliding constitutional interests of public import. ... Upon a thorough analysis of each of the claims asserted in this case, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has not carried her burden of persuasion with respect to this important and essential prerequisite to Plaintiff's demonstration of an entitlement to injunctive relief."
Unless an appeal results in a stay, Greene will be required to testify about the events of Jan. 6 on Friday before an administrative law judge in Atlanta.
Greene complained to Fox News host Tucker Carlson Monday night that she has to "go to court on Friday and actually be questioned."
Greene is still one of the loudest pushers of the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, continuing the violent rhetoric she used before the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
"If you think about what our Declaration of Independence says, it says to overthrow tyrants," Greene said in October in defense of the insurrectionists. "There is a clear difference between Jan. 6 and the Marxist, Communist revolution, the Antifa, BLM, Democrat ground troops waged on the American people in 2020."
Greene is not the only Republican whose candidacies are being challenged on the basis of their roles in the insurrection, which injured 140 law enforcement officers and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage to the Capitol itself.
Free Speech for People is also challenging the candidacies of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, who is running for Arizona secretary of state.
The group challenged the candidacy of Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) on the same grounds, but the challenge was dismissed by a federal judge appointed by former President Donald Trump who agreed with Cawthorn's lawyers that a post-Civil War amnesty law passed in 1872 superseded the "disqualification clause."
The group has appealed the dismissal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.