A federal judge has indicated that an attempt to bar far-right Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from running for re-election will be allowed.
A protest from a group of Georgia voters says Greene should be disqualified under the 14th Amendment to the US constitution because she supported insurgents who attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
A similar challenge in North Carolina, against Madison Cawthorn, another prominent supporter of Donald Trump, was stalled.
But on Friday, Amy Totenberg, a federal judge in Georgia, said she had “significant questions and concerns” about the decision in the Cawthorn case, CNN reported.
Totenberg said she was likely to comment on Greene’s attempt to have her case dismissed Monday, two days before a scheduled hearing before a state judge.
The 14th Amendment was passed by Congress in 1866, a year after the Civil War ended, and ratified in 1868.
It says, “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, after taking the oath …to support the Constitution of the United States, will have engaged in an insurrection or rebellion against it, or will have aided or comforted its enemies.
Congress can override such a ban.
In March, Cawthorn’s challenge was shut down by a Trump-appointed judge in reference to a Civil War amnesty law passed by Congress in 1872. According to CNN, Totenberg said she believed the law was retroactive. and not intended to apply to future insurgents. .
A bipartisan Senate committee has linked seven deaths to the Capitol riot, in which Trump supporters sought to prevent certification of Joe Biden‘s election victory.
Greene has been widely linked to the events of January 6. In one example, a pro-Trump event organizer in Washington that day told Rolling Stone that Greene was part of a group of far-right Republicans who were coordinating with protesters.
“I specifically remember Marjorie Taylor Greene,” the anonymous source said. “I remember talking to probably close to a dozen other members at one time or another or their staff.”
A spokesperson for Greene said she and her staff “were focused on the Congressional election objection to the House and had nothing to do with planning a protest.”
Immediately after the storming of Congress, in the last legalistic gasp of Trump’s bid to stay in power, 147 Republicans voted to oppose the results in the swing states.
Greene said she does not encourage violence. His attorney in the Georgia case is James Bopp Jr, who cited the Amnesty Act of 1872 in his successful attempt to have Cawthorn’s challenge thrown out.
Like the challenge to Cawthorn, the challenge to Greene is backed by Free Speech for People, a group that seeks to reform election and campaign finance.
Responding to Cawthorn’s dismissal, Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for the People, told the New York Times: “According to this court ruling, the Amnesty Act of 1872, by a trick of wording – although noticed it at the time, or in the 150 years that followed – completely undermined Congress’ prudent decision to write the insurrectionary disqualification clause to apply to future insurgencies.
“This is patently absurd.”
In January, Fein told the Guardian that his group aimed to draw “a line that says, just as the framers of the 14th Amendment wrote and intended, you cannot swear in support of the constitution and then facilitate an insurrection. against the United States”. while hoping to exercise a public function”.
He added, “The insurgency has threatened the entire democratic system of our country and placing insurgents from any state in the halls of Congress threatens the entire country.”
Writing for the Guardian, Princeton scholar Jan-Werner Muller said: “Whether a strongly right-leaning US Supreme Court will uphold disqualifications is indeed a very open question – but there is every reason to try to enforce them.