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Marjorie Taylor Greene: Candidacy challenge can go ahead, federal judge says



CNN

A federal judge on Monday cleared the way for a coalition of liberal groups to move forward with their bid to disqualify controversial GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from running for re-election, based on claims she allegedly helped the January 6 insurgents.

The ruling means a scheduled hearing before a Georgia state judge will take place as scheduled Friday morning. This judge will hear arguments from both sides and ultimately decide whether the Constitution’s “disqualification clause” applies to Greene. The Civil War-era provision states that office holders who support an insurrection are barred from serving again.

“This case involves a whirlwind of constitutional interests of public importance,” District Judge Amy Totenberg of the Northern District of Georgia wrote in the ruling. “After a thorough analysis of each of the claims made in this case, the Court concludes that [Greene] has not carried its burden of persuasion with regard to this important and essential prerequisite for [Greene’s] demonstration of a right to an injunction”.

Totenberg’s decision could have repercussions beyond Greene and his re-election campaign in Georgia. Indeed, similar constitutional challenges are pending against other Republican officials and could even be filed against former President Donald Trump if he runs again in 2024.

The result is a major victory for liberal activists and legal advocacy groups who launched the anti-Greene challenge, though they are still a long way from removing her from the GOP primary ballot. If the state judge recommends his disqualification, Greene can appeal and the case may not be resolved until the ballots for the May 25 primary election are printed.

“The Constitution disqualifies from public office any elected official who aided the insurgency, and we look forward to questioning Rep. Greene about her involvement under oath,” said Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People, a group of legal defense that supports the challengers.

So far, two GOP lawmakers have filed federal lawsuits to end candidacy challenges related to Jan. 6, with mixed results. Totenberg, an Obama appointee, let the constitutional challenge play out against Greene. But Judge Richard Myers, a Trump appointee in the Eastern District of North Carolina, blocked a similar effort to remove GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn from the ballot.

Voters who want to disqualify Greene say she coordinated with January 6 protesters and fueled violence with her militant rhetoric, including a comment where she explicitly said she opposed the peaceful transfer of power . She has denied wrongdoing, says she opposes political violence and claims the attempted disqualification is an unconstitutional witch hunt.


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