Update 5/6/22 4:15 ET: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) will get to stay on the midterm ballot in November. A challenge to her eligibility backed by the group Free Speech for the People, based on a section of the 14th amendment of the Constitution, was unsuccessful in a state administrative hearing on Friday.
“We urge Secretary Raffensperger to take a fresh look at the evidence presented in the case and reject the judge’s recommendation. Marjorie Taylor Greene helped facilitate the January 6 insurrection, and under the Constitution, she is disqualified from future office,” Free Speech for the People said in a statement.
Original story below:
The legal fight to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from the 2022 midterm ballot, as a result of her alleged role in the January 6 riots, can continue, a federal judge ruled Monday. Greene’s challengers contend she should be removed from the ballot because of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which says anyone who has taken an oath to defend the Constitution and later participated in insurrection cannot be an elected official.
At the beginning of March, Greene, who recently spoke at a white nationalist conference, filed for re-election. Two weeks later, five Georgia voters filed a challenge with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office to contest her candidacy. The bureaucratic system to adjudicate such a challenge was running normally until Greene filed a lawsuit in federal court. She was represented by the same legal team that successfully defended Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) from a similar lawsuit.
Greene—a staunch Trump supporter with no committee assignments to keep her busy—has called the insurrection a “1776 moment.” Her attorney, James Bopp Jr., maintains that Greene “publicly and vigorously condemned the attack on the Capitol.”
“This is fundamentally antidemocratic,” he told the The New York Times of the federal order.
The nonprofit organization Free Speech for People is one of the organizations challenging alleged insurrectionists’ right to be on the ballot. Ron Fein, the legal director of Free Speech for People, told Jezebel that he’s been asked why the voters can’t simply decide this.
“Why shouldn’t the voters of northern Georgia just get to decide if Marjorie Taylor Greene should or shouldn’t be their candidate? Why should the be a matter of a legal challenge? That is the exact question Congress wrestled with in 1886 when they debated passing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment,” Fein told Jezebel. “Shouldn’t the voters get to decide if [Confederate President] Jefferson Davis returns to power? The people who said ‘Oh it’s okay to let the voters decide,’ lost that debate. It stands for all time now as a protection that says anyone who crosses that line cannot be safeguarded with a position of power.”
The organization is pleased with the federal outcome. “One of the important reasons for Section 3 is you can’t trust them in public office. Not in the way people say you can’t trust politicians. They pose a danger to democracy,” Fein told Jezebel.
Georgia’s primary elections are May 24. Can’t wait to see who’s on the ballot.