NC State Board Argues Madison Cawthorn Is Ineligible To Run After Jan 6

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Representative Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is afraid of being charged as an insurrectionist after a state board revealed he could be ineligible to run for office after participating in the January 6 failed coup. North Carolina’s attorney general’s (AG) Special Deputy Attorney General Terence Steed filed a lawsuit to oust Cawthorn.

He was joined by three other officials in the state AG’s office. He wrote:

‘Plaintiff’s argument is meritless, as it would invalidate the expressed intent of the legislators who enacted both the Fourteenth Amendment and the Amnesty Act of 1872.’

The lawsuit referred to the 14th Amendment provision that makes insurrectionists ineligible for federal office. That was bad news for Cawthorn given that he will be running for reelection after his first term.

His attorneys called the 14th Amendment a “Civil War relic,” but the state argues otherwise. The attorneys claimed that it was meant to protect against future acts of insurrection. Should the North Carolina State Board of Elections decide that Cawthorn falls under that amendment, he cannot run for office again.

The representative argued that the 14th Amendment provision was only for Civil War southerners. Instead, he referred to an 1872 “amnesty law” that “waived the 14th Amendment prohibition for those confederates as evidence of his claim.”

Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein thought otherwise. He pointed to the words of those in office who worked on the 1872 law. Back in 1919, the legislators applied the 14th amendment against Victor Berger who broke the “Espionage Act during World War I.” Steed wrote:

‘Plaintiff’s argument is meritless, as it would invalidate the expressed intent of the legislators who enacted both the Fourteenth Amendment and the Amnesty Act of 1872.’

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Cawthorn argued via his attorney James Bopp Jr.:

‘[T]he public interest is served in choosing the People’s representatives by democratic processes, not by state bureaucrats, which Challengers propose here. The undemocratic scheme contained in the North Carolina Challenge provisions supplants voters for state bureaucrats who will determine who can represent the People.’

The state said:

‘[Cawthorn] has made his claim before he has suffered any harm. Any candidate challenge proceeding may result in Plaintiff successfully demonstrating that he is not disqualified; in that case, he would suffer no injury whatsoever.’

They argued that the representative was at the January 6 rally before the attack on the Capitol Building, and he could have easily known that rally was an appetizer to the insurrection. They said Cawthorn “was involved in efforts to intimidate Congress and the Vice President into rejecting valid electoral votes,” according to The Free Speech for The People:

‘”[Cawthorn] was involved in efforts to intimidate Congress and the Vice President into rejecting valid electoral votes.” And they said when he appeared at a Jan. 6, 2021, rally that preceded the Capitol attack, Cawthorn would have known it was likely to be a prelude to the violence.’

There were two stages to the challenge on the representative’s eligibility. First, the state elections board determines that those who do not meet the constitutional requirements cannot be on the ballot. Second, Congress can refuse to seat an elected legislator in the House.

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Three White Lions political book, now available on Amazon’s Kindle-Vella. She also writes for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in process). Find her here on Facebook.