Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene beats disqualification lawsuit, challengers appeal

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After a state judge refused to disqualify U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from the ballot, the left-wing group that challenged her candidacy on insurrection grounds is appealing the judge’s ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court.

The state court threw out the challenge on July 25. The appeal was filed July 28.

Greene, an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump, represents Georgia’s 14th congressional district. The Christian conservative is known for making strongly worded, often controversial statements. A first-term lawmaker now seeking a second term, she won the Republican primary in her district on May 24 with 70.4 percent of the vote.

A group called Free Speech for People and five local voters claimed Greene cannot serve in Congress because she allegedly participated in an insurrection to prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power by supporting Trump’s post-election challenges to the November 2020 election results. The group claimed the rarely invoked Disqualification Clause in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was enacted in the wake of the Civil War to keep former Confederates out of Congress, applied to her as an alleged insurrectionist.

This supposed insurrection culminated in the Jan. 6, 2021, security breach at the U.S. Capitol in which supporters of Trump delayed the congressional certification of the presidential election results for several hours. Democrats and some Republicans characterize the disturbance, from which some elected officials took cover, as an insurrection or coup attempt aimed at overthrowing the U.S. government, a claim that has been adamantly denied by Trump and his supporters.

According to the challengers, Greene’s rhetoric made her an insurrectionist. For example, the day before the security breach, she urged Trump supporters to “flood the Capitol,” they said in a petition filed with the court (pdf).

But on July 25, Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court, rejected these arguments, upholding (pdf) an earlier ruling by an administrative law judge that affirmed Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s decision to allow Greene’s candidacy to continue.

Brasher wrote that there was no evidence Greene participated in an insurrection. The court “does not find that the Administrative Law Judge applied the wrong legal standard,” he added.

Free Speech for People criticized the ruling in a statement.

“Judge Brasher’s short (six-page, double-spaced) decision rejected the appeal with minimal legal analysis, largely simply stating that the administrative law judge’s legal decisions were within his discretion. Judge Brasher declined to decide any of Greene’s counterclaims, such as that the events of January 6 were not an insurrection, or that the candidate challenge process was unconstitutional. In essence, his opinion affirms the administrative law judge’s opinion without adding or changing anything.”

The notice of appeal (pdf) was filed in court 0n July 28.

Free Speech for People has also tried to disqualify other Trump-supporting elected officials, including Pennsylvania state senator Doug Mastriano, a Republican seeking his state’s governorship, as well as U.S. Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.). The group has also urged secretaries of state across the country to keep Trump off the 2024 presidential ballot.

The Epoch Times reached out repeatedly to Greene’s congressional communications director, Nick Dyer, but had not received a reply as of press time.

This article by Matthew Vadum appeared July 29, 2022, in The Epoch Times.

Above: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, at AmericaFest, Phoenix, Arizona, Dec. 19, 2021. Photo by Gage Skidmore.