Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has lost in an attempt before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to undo the decision of a lower-court judge who rejected her attempt to block a challenge to her eligibility for re-election.
The challenge relied on provisions of the U.S. Constitution that restrict those involved in insurrection from running for office. For Greene, that’s last year’s Trump-inspired riot at the Capitol, which took place under the rhetorical banner of election lies she promoted. After the federal judge whose decision she challenged at the appeals level denied her push to stop the case, Greene faced a hearing directly dealing with the eligibility dispute — and a Georgia judge ultimately decided she could run for office as before. In court, Greene faced questioning about issues including whether she advocated for the imposition of martial law to then-officials including Trump himself and Mark Meadows, and text conversations later emerged showing she at least raised the prospect to Meadows, although she claimed in court she didn’t remember.
Now, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which operates in Georgia, has concluded Greene’s challenge to the process going forward is moot, since the procedure already played out, with her side prevailing. Any push for an appeals court ruling nonetheless in Greene’s favor was unsuccessful. Without advocating for a particular outcome, Georgia officials were supportive of the original process moving forward as ordained. One of the Trump nominees on the 11th Circuit panel indicated she would’ve been in support of Greene’s push if the court considered her challenge at an earlier point. That judge, Elizabeth Branch, said she thought Georgia “invaded Congress’s role to judge its members’ qualifications.”
The original decision in federal court in favor of allowing the challenge to Greene’s ability to campaign to move forward was from Judge Amy Totenberg. “Judge Totenberg’s well-reasoned opinion explains why the Georgia voters who filed this challenge against Greene have the right to have their challenge heard,” Ron Fein of Free Speech for People, an organization involved in the case, said at the time.
Free Speech for People is also prepared to challenge the eligibility for re-election of Trump himself if — or when — he announces his candidacy, which could be in the near future after the midterm elections. He might not have done so already because of concerns including keeping at least some of the spotlight on the Republicans on the ballot this year and evading federal campaign finance rules. Greene faced multiple challengers in her district’s Republican primary, but she was ultimately successful and is facing Democratic contender Marcus Flowers in the general election. During a debate between the two, Greene tore into Flowers for, as a father, supporting the supposedly child-endangering Democratic Party. It’s ignorant nonsense that simply doesn’t reflect reality.