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NEW: Federal Appeals Court Says Insurrectionists Can Still Be Barred From Holding Office

NEW: Federal Appeals Court Says Insurrectionists Can Still Be Barred From Holding Office

A Federal Appeals Court has responded to a North Carolina case in which Representative Madison Cawthorn’s candidacy was challenged for his support of the attempted insurrection on January 6th, saying that a lower court was wrong to rule that the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment no longer applies.

Hendersonville, NC – May 17 : Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., watches results from the North Carolina primary election with staff, volunteers, family and friends at his campaign headquarters on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in Hendersonville, NC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Politico reporter Kyle Cheney shared the ruling on Tuesday.

The 73-page document lays out the lower court’s ruling that cited the 1872 Amnesty Act, and Cawthorn’s claim that this — which essentially forgave those who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War — somehow gave pre-emptive forgiveness to all who engage in insurrection against the United States going forward.

At the end of the March 4 hearing, the district court announced it was granting a preliminary injunction with a written opinion to follow. In its oral ruling, the court emphasized that the basis for its injunction was “very narrow” and rested exclusively on the court’s “statutory determination” that the 1872 Amnesty Act applied to Representative Cawthorn.

However, the Appeals Court interprets the 1872 Amnesty Act differently, reading it as speaking only of amnesty for crimes that were in the past at its signing, not for future ones, among other faults it finds with the ruling.

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Because the district court’s ruling was based solely on its view of the 1872 Amnesty Act, we reverse its decision and vacate the permanent injunction.

The ruling also notes that Cawthorn tried to have the case declared moot, because he lost his primary and therefore would not be a candidate in the general election anyway, but that the court disagrees, both because the primary results are not yet certified and because the challengers have not withdrawn their challenge.

More importantly, this case could set a precedent that would echo through any number of Republican campaigns, including any further election campaign that Donald Trump might launch.

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