Group Files Lawsuit Using Civil War Amendment To Ban GOP Rep. Cawthorn From Re-Election Over Capitol Riot

N. Carolina Voters Challenge To Keep GOP Rep. Cawthorn From Re-Election Bid, Cite Jan. 6 Rally Speech

A group described as North Carolina “voters” is doing their part to help Democrats and keep Americans riled up over the Jan. 6, 2021 “insurrection” at the Capitol.

A legal challenge filed on Monday claims that freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is disqualified from running for re-election, due to his “involvement,” which amounted to a speech, at the rally in Washington that day that preceded the violence that took place in the Capitol building.

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The Core Of The Legal Challenge

At the heart of this legal challenge, filed with the North Carolina Board of Elections, is the group’s contention that, the speech Cawthorn made at the rally, where he questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election, makes him a participant in the so called “insurrection.” 

The group is pinning the challenge, and declaring Cawthorn an insurrectionist, on a clause in the 14th Amendment, stating that no person, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress … shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion.”

The clause is a vestige from the Civil War, which sought to keep unrepentant former Confederates from serving in office.

The challenge also claims that Cawthorn, “urged his followers to threaten and intimidate” members of Congress, and that Cawthorn and his staffers were, “in close contact with rally organizers.”

The group behind the legal challenge is ironically named “Free Speech For People.” The group’s legal director Ron Fein said this about the challenge:

The coordinated and violent Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the presidential vote was an insurrection against the United States. The Constitution disqualifies from public office any elected officials who aided that insurrection.”

Fein continued saying, “publicly available evidence, including Rep. Cawthorn’s statements and reports that he or his office coordinated with the Jan. 6 organizers, establish reasonable suspicion that Rep. Cawthorn aided the insurrection, thereby disqualifying him from federal office.”

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What The Constitution Says

While the 14th Amendment does prevent those who have been engaged in “insurrection” from running for public office, what the again ironically named “Free Speech For People” folks left out is that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was designed to prevent former Confederate officials from having any power in the post-Civil War government.

Section 3 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.

Hardly the equivalent to Jan. 6.

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OK For Me But Not For Thee

Democrats appear to be outraged and disgusted by Republicans challenging electoral votes, they have contested at least four elections in the modern era, including the Republican victories in the 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections.

Cawthorn responded to the challenge in a tweet saying, “Left-wing activists are trying to stop me from fighting for YOU THE PEOPLE. I won’t be stopped. Help me fight back!”

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