Federal judge allows state qualifications review against Rep. Greene to proceed

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has been accused of participating in the “insurrection” of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in 2021 and, as such, an effort is underway to declare her ineligible to hold office under a constitutional amendment aimed at punishing former Confederate officers and officials after the Civil War.

The congresswoman asked a federal court to intervene and block the state process in Georgia regarding her qualification for the ballot, but the federal judge just denied her motions and will allow the state review to proceed, the Daily Caller reported.

“Insurrection”

At issue, in this case, is Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which in the relevant part states: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, … who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, … 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.”

A group of five voters in Rep. Greene’s district, backed by a purportedly nonpartisan national organization known as Free Speech for People, filed a complaint against the congresswoman with the state of Georgia and asserted that per the “insurrection” clause of the 14th Amendment, Greene was now ineligible to run for office again.

The congresswoman countered by asking a federal judge to intervene and issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the state review of her eligibility for the ballot, but the judge ultimately made it clear that Greene had failed to persuade the court with her arguments.

Greene’s motions denied

In a 73-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg summarized the arguments put forward by Greene — namely that the state review process violated her own 1st and 14th Amendment rights and that the Amnesty Act of 1872 overruled the Section 3 provision on disqualification from office for alleged insurrectionists.

The judge was unmoved, however, and determined that due to the novelty of the claims made by both sides and relative lack of judicial precedence on the matter, Greene had failed to sufficiently prove that she would succeed on the merits of her arguments, a key component for the issuance of an injunction.

“This case involves a whirlpool of colliding constitutional interests of public import,” Judge Totenberg wrote. “The novelty of the factual and historical posture of this case — especially when assessed in the context of a preliminary injunction motion reviewed on a fast track — has made resolution of the complex legal issues at stake here particularly demanding.”

As such, the judge denied Greene’s request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction and, in effect, allowed the state review process of the congresswoman’s eligibility for the ballot to proceed.

Different court rules opposite

The Daily Caller noted that Rep. Greene’s attorney, James Bopp Jr., called the judge’s ruling “fundamentally undemocratic” but, of course, the ruling was celebrated by the national organization backing the state-level challenge against the congresswoman.

Interestingly, CBS News reported that the same Free Speech for People organization had backed a similar challenge to the eligibility of Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), who is also alleged by Democratic opponents to have participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot “insurrection.”

Unfortunately for them, however, a federal judge in North Carolina had sided with Cawthorn, who raised similar arguments as Greene did, and blocked the state review process on his qualifications for office from proceeding.

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