Marjorie Taylor Greene: Judge looks likely to allow challenge to January 6 candidacy against congresswoman

Federal Judge Amy Totenberg of the Northern District of Georgia said in a lengthy hearing that she had “significant questions and concerns” about a recent decision in a similar case, which blocked the same challenge against Rep. Madison Cawthorn. , a Republican from North Carolina.

A group of Georgia voters, backed by a coalition of constitutional scholars and liberal activists, issued the challenge against Greene last month to state election officials. Greene then filed her own lawsuit in federal court, asking Totenberg to end the state-level proceeding.

Totenberg said she would issue a ruling next week, likely Monday. That’s two days before a state judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on the underlying issue of whether Greene participated in or aided the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and whether that disqualifies her from office.

James Bopp Jr., a conservative attorney who represents Greene, said the challenge consisted of “50 pages of newspaper articles, hearsay and political hyperbole.” He warned at the hearing that if the challenge is allowed, it will encourage liberal groups to try to disqualify former President Donald Trump from running for re-election in 2024.

Friday’s hearing was the latest chapter in a seemingly elusive effort to hold prominent GOP officials accountable for Jan. 6, which is unfolding in a major congressional investigation, a federal criminal investigation that has largely focused on the rioters. themselves and civil disputes.
The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits elected officials from returning to elective office if they have supported an insurrection. Challengers say Greene can’t run for re-election because she ‘aided’ the January 6 insurgency, allegedly planned with protest organizers and ‘encouraged’ violence that disrupted Electoral College certification .

They cited Greene’s own comments, including a video where she explicitly said she opposed the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden “because he didn’t win this election.”

Greene’s attorneys say she is not an insurgent and disqualifying her would violate her First Amendment rights. She previously told CNN that she had “never encouraged political violence and never will.” A spokesperson said she was not involved in planning protests on January 6.

High stakes showdown

The anti-Greene challenge was launched by the same groups that unsuccessfully tried to remove Cawthorn from the GOP primary ballot in North Carolina. A federal judge appointed by Trump has ended that challenge, ruling that a Civil War amnesty law passed in 1872 still applies and therefore protected Cawthorn from being disqualified for his role in the 6 january.

Cawthorn has denied any wrongdoing regarding Jan. 6 and says he is not an insurgent.

Some of the leading experts on the Constitution’s “disqualification clause” have criticized this judge’s conclusion. And on Friday, so did Totenberg, the judge appointed by Obama in the Greene case.

“I don’t think the amnesty law was forward-looking,” Totenberg said, siding with challengers, who said the 1872 law was retroactive and did not protect future insurgents.

Bryan Sells, attorney for the challengers, who are backed by legal defense group Free Speech For People, piled in, saying: ‘The absurdity of his argument shines like a beacon.

Greene hired the same attorney, Bopp, who prevailed in the Cawthorn case. He noted on Friday that no one has been charged with the Jan. 6 insurgency, “despite all the resources of the Justice Department and the FBI.” He also said removing Greene from the ballot would be “disenfranchising voters and upending democracy just before an election.”

The GOP firebrand has filed a lawsuit against Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whose office oversees parts of the candidacy challenge process. Raffensperger was infamous for receiving a phone call where Trump urged him to “find” enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. Raffensperger refused to accompany him.

In the federal case, Raffensperger is represented by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, who is also a Republican. State officials want the judge to dismiss Greene’s lawsuit, which would allow the challenge to the candidacy to continue before a state administrative judge next week.

“You have a proceeding pending that is consistent with state law, and we would be pleading consistent with federal law,” Russell Willard of the Georgia Attorney General’s office said Friday, urging Totenberg to “allow the proceeding in ongoing and waiting for the state to continue to bear fruit.”

A hearing in the underlying disqualification case is scheduled for Wednesday in Atlanta, where a state administrative judge will determine whether Greene is qualified to appear on the GOP primary ballot. The election is on May 25, and counties will begin mailing out absentee ballots later this month.

The administrative judge has already denied a request for Greene to testify during a deposition. The challengers also demanded that she hand over a wide range of documents related to the 2020 election and Jan. 6, including any emails she may have exchanged with rally organizers or members of extremist groups involved in the rally. the attack. Greene opposes these efforts.

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