USA 2020 Elections: Thread

grarpamp grarpamp at
Tue May 10 23:32:38 PDT 2022

Democrats Lose Another Effort To Disqualify A GOP Member

For two years, Democrats have been trying to disqualify dozens of
Republicans from appearing on ballots for supporting the challenge to
the certification of the 2020 election or declaring the election to be

It is premised on a deeply flawed historical and legal view of a
provision under the Fourteenth Amendment. In the name of democracy,
these Democrats have demanded that courts prevent voters from being
able to vote for incumbent members. Yet, scholars like Harvard
Professor Laurence Tribe have endorsed this sweeping interpretation.
It has been rejected repeatedly in the courts.

The latest such ruling comes from the Arizona Supreme Court which
ruled that Democrats could not prevent Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) from
appearing on the ballot in 2022.

In the age of rage, nothing says democracy like preventing people from
running for office.

Last year, Democratic members called for the disqualification of
dozens of Republicans. One, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) demanded the
disqualification of the 120 House Republicans — including House
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy(R-Calif.) — for simply signing a
“Friend of the Court brief” (or amicus brief) in support of an
election challenge from Texas.

These members and activists have latched upon the long-dormant
provision in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment — the “disqualification
clause” — which was written after the 39th Congress convened in
December 1865 and many members were shocked to see Alexander Stephens,
the Confederate vice president, waiting to take a seat with an array
of other former Confederate senators and military officers.

Justice Edwin Reade of the North Carolina Supreme Court later
explained, “[t]he idea [was] that one who had taken an oath to support
the Constitution and violated it, ought to be excluded from taking it
again.” So, members drafted a provision that declared that “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.”

By declaring the Jan. 6th riot an “insurrection,” some Democratic
members of Congress and liberal activists hope to bar incumbent
Republicans from running. Even support for court filings is now being
declared an act of rebellion. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
helped fuel this movement — before Jan. 6 even occurred — by declaring
that the Republicans supporting election challenges were “subverting
the Constitution by their reckless and fruitless assault on our
democracy which threatens to seriously erode public trust in our most
sacred democratic institutions, and to set back our progress on the
urgent challenges ahead.”

This effort failed on legal grounds in seeking o bar Rep. Madison
Cawthorn (R-N.C.) from running for office due to his actions related
to the Jan. 6, 2021. It failed on factual grounds in seeking to bar
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R., Ga.), even after a federal district
court wrongly allowed a hearing to be held.

Now the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that not only did the
challengers lack the standing to bring the case but Arizona Supreme
Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel reaffirmed that this is a power
left to Congress:

    “Qualifications of its own Members,” appears to vest Congress with
exclusive authority to determine whether to enforce the
Disqualification Clause against its prospective members. However, we
need not decide these issues because we hold that A.R.S. § 16-351(B),
which authorizes an elector to challenge a candidate “for any reason
relating to qualifications for the office sought as prescribed by law,
including age, residency, professional requirements or failure to
fully pay fines . . . ,” is not the proper proceeding to initiate a
Disqualification Clause challenge. By its terms, the statute’s scope
is limited to challenges based upon “qualifications . . . as
prescribed by law,” and does not include the Disqualification Clause,
a legal proscription from holding office.

The court case is Thomas Hansen v. Mark Finchem, No. cv-22-0099.

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