Federal Appeals Court has revived a constitutional challenge to Rep. Madison Cawthorn (RN.C.)’s right to run for office because of his support for insurgents who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered earlier this week that a hearing against an injunction ending the challenge obtained by Cawthorn be held on May 3. The Republican primary in Cawthorn District will take place on May 17.
Voters and the Free Speech for People organization argued in court that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment bars lawmakers like Cawthorn from running for office again.
The clause prohibits those who, after taking an oath to “uphold the Constitution”, then “engage in insurrection or rebellion against it, or aid or comfort the enemies”. The article was passed after the Civil War to bar legislators from representing a government they had worked to overthrow.
Cawthorn said he hasn’t been part of an insurrection — although he has repeatedly praised those who have — on Twitter and in speeches. He spoke at a rally before the Capitol was seized on Jan. 6 last year.
Cawthorn won an injunction from a federal judge appointed by Donald Trump last month against the challenge. The judge ruled that a federal amnesty law for those who participated in the Civil War against the government nullified the clause – although several lawyers argued that a law cannot override the Constitution.
The Fourth Circuit court this week denied a stay of the case, but granted an expedited appeal hearing. The decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit calls for an expedited hearing regarding an injunction against Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s re-election challenge.
Cawthorn is one of five candidates – including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Paul Gosar (R-Arizona), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona) and Mark Finchem, a Republican running for secretary of Arizona State – whose re-elections are being challenged in court on constitutional grounds related to supporting the insurgency. Greene repeatedly calls the insurgents “patriots” and called those arrested for Capitol violence “political prisoners.”