An effort to keep U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn off the North Carolina ballot this year was blocked by a federal judge this Friday, WRAL reports.
The challenge was filed by attorneys who say Cawthorn is an insurrectionist who should be legally barred from the ballot due to his participation in events that led up to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The attorneys behind the legal effort cited the 14th Amendment, which 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. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”
But Judge Richard E. Myers, the Chief District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said that courts must protect the soapbox, the ballot box and the jury box.
“When those fail, that’s when people proceed to the ammunition box,” said Myers, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2019.
Myers cited an 1872 amnesty law passed by Congress, which he said essentially repealed the 14th Amendment’s “disqualification clause.”
“John Wallace, a lawyer for voters who had challenged Cawthorn’s candidacy at the state level, said his group could try to intervene in the federal court proceeding, but that could prove difficult,” reports WRAL. “Those challengers had hoped the elections board would convene an inquiry panel next week under the North Carolina laws that allow voters to challenge a candidate’s qualifications. That panel could have subpoenaed and deposed Cawthorn, as well as others, and Cawthorn sued in federal court to stop the process.”
Cawthorn celebrated the decision on Twitter. “HUGE VICTORY! The left’s lawfare tactics have failed. On to re-election!” he wrote.
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