Biden-nominated appeals court judge rules members of Congress who ‘participated in an insurrection’ CAN be barred from office in case against Madison Cawthorn
- Voters brought forth a case arguing that the Republican was ineligible for office because he spoke at Trump’s ‘Save America’ rally ahead of Jan. 6 Capitol riot
- Cawthorn argued the case was moot because he’s already conceded the race to state Sen. Chuck Edwards
- The court determined it was not because the election has not yet been certified and because the same issue could come up in another campaign
- The court overturned a lower court decision that ruled Cawthorn was protected by an 1872 law meant to grant amnesty for members of the Confederacy
- The appellate court said it was a ‘stretch’ to assume the authors of that law intended for it to be used against future insurrectionists
- The court didn’t rule on whether Cawthorn had taken part in an insurrection, but if it was found he had he could be barred from running for office
A panel on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that members of Congress who are found to have participated in an insurrection can be barred from holding public office, in a case brought forth against Rep. Madison Cawthorn.
A group of North Carolina voters brought forth a case arguing that theRepublican was ineligible for future public service because he had spoken at former President Trump’s ‘Save America’ rally ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Cawthorn argued the case was moot because he’s already conceded the race to state Sen. Chuck Edwards, but the court determined it was not because the election has not yet been certified and because the same issue could come up in another campaign.
A three-judge panel reversed a lower court’s ruling that an 1872 federal law granted all insurrectionists, past and future, amnesty, and was used to pardon members of the Confederacy.
A panel on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that members of Congress who are found to have participated in an insurrection can be barred from holding public office, in a case brought forth against Rep. Madison Cawthorn
‘We hold only that the 1872 Amnesty Act does not categorically exempt all future rebels and insurrectionists from the political disabilities that otherwise would be created by Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment,’ Judge Toby Heytens, a Biden appointee, wrote for the panel.
The other judges, Julius Richardson, a Trump appointee, and James Wynn, an Obama appointee, both agreed with the decision, but each wrote differing opinions.
‘The available evidence suggests that the Congress that enacted the 1872 Amnesty Act was, understandably, laser-focused on the then-pressing problems posed by the hordes of former Confederates seeking forgiveness,’ Heytens continued.
The voters, led by Free Speech for the People filed suit alleging that Cawthorn violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which states that no person ‘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.’
Cawthorn had in turned filed a suit in federal court in March.
He said it was ‘quite a stretch’ to read the law as giving ‘categorical advance forgiveness’ to any future insurrectionists.
The panel did not rule on whether Cawthorn himself had participated in an insurrection.
Free Speech for the People had filed a similar suit to get Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tossed from the ballot in Georgia. State Administrative Law Judge Charles Beaudrot denied those efforts. A state court had dismissed similar challenges against Arizona Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs.
While the Cawthorn suit will not be successful in its intended purpose, Free Speech counted it as a ‘major victory’ because it ‘cements the growing judicial consensus that the 1872 Amnesty Act does not shield the insurrectionists of January 6, 2021 — including Donald Trump — from the consequences of their actions.’
Bombshell photos show Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who recently accused his fellow lawmakers of inviting him to orgies and doing cocaine in front of him, dressed in women’s lingerie, chugging wine and surrounded by women
Attorneys for Cawthorn had argued that since the House of Representatives can grant any insurrectionist amnesty with a two-thirds vote, state officials can’t take someone off the ballot for actions they may be pardoned for.
Richardson agreed with the argument. He said that he would have reversed the decision not for misinterpreting the law but for considering it at all.
‘The only actor in our American constitutional system that can judge the qualifications of members of the House of Representatives is the House of Representatives itself.’
Cawthorn, once a rising star in MAGA world, lost his primary after a scandal-plagued campaign that mobilized Republicans at home and in Washington against him.
On Tuesday the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into the 26-year-old congressman over claims he had an improper relationship with a staffer in his office and improperly promoted a cryptocurrency.