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GA Judge Rules Marjorie Taylor Greene Can Remain On Ballot

GA Judge Rules Marjorie Taylor Greene Can Remain On Ballot

A judge in Georgia on Friday found that U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is qualified to run for reelection, concluding that a group of voters who had challenged her eligibility failed to prove she engaged in insurrection after taking office.

But the decision will ultimately be up to Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 22: U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks during a court hearing on April 22, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. U.S. Rep. Greene is appearing at the hearing in a challenge filed by voters who say she shouldn’t be allowed to seek reelection because she helped facilitate the attack on the Capitol that disrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. (Photo by John Bazemore-Pool/Getty Images)

The challenge to Greene’s eligibility was filed by voters who allege the GOP congresswoman played a significant role in the January 6, 2021, riot that disrupted Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. That puts her in violation of a seldom-invoked part of the 14th Amendment having to do with insurrection and makes her ineligible to run for reelection, they argued.

State Administrative Law Judge Charles Beaudrot held a daylong hearing in April that included arguments from lawyers for the voters and for Greene, as well as extensive questioning of Greene herself where she claimed not to recall many of her own texts and messages despite being shown them by the petitioners. Georgia State law says Beaudrot must now submit his findings to Raffensperger, who has to decide whether Greene should be removed from the ballot.

Free Speech For People‘s Edward Erikson released a statement soon after the judge’s decision, which reads in part:

This decision betrays the fundamental purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause and gives a pass to political violence as a tool for disrupting and overturning free and fair elections…We urge Secretary Raffensperger to take a fresh look at the evidence presented in the case and reject the judge’s recommendation. Marjorie Taylor Greene helped facilitate the January 6 insurrection, and under the Constitution, she is disqualified from future office.

Ron Fein, a lawyer for the voters who filed the challenge, noted during the April 22nd hearing on the challenge that in a TV interview the day before the attack at the U.S. Capitol, Greene said the next day would be “our 1776 moment.” Lawyers for the voters said some supporters of then-President Donald Trump used that reference to the American Revolution as a call to violence. “In fact, it turned out to be an 1861 moment,” Fein said, alluding to the start of the Civil War.

Once Raffensperger makes his decision, either side has 10 days to appeal it in Fulton County Superior Court. Raffensperger is facing a primary challenge of his own on the May 24th ballot after he refused to bend to pressure from Trump to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. Raffensperger has decried the Capitol attack, writing in his book that he found it “highly objectionable” that “people are now trying to minimize what happened on January 6.”

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