Voters in North Carolina seek to keep Rep. Madison Cawthorn off the ballot. They claim he attended the January 6 demonstration in violation of the 14th Amendment’s ban on candidates who “engage in insurrection or rebellion against” the Constitution. It is a practice run to attack Donald Trump and the many Republican Democrats who want to replace him. It’s also an Obama strategy: remove opponents from the ballot.
AP News reports: Concerned with the presidential election outcome, a group of North Carolinians demanded Monday that Rep. Madison Cawthorn be disqualified as a congressional candidate. Cawthorn’s office slammed the challenge filed on behalf of 11 voters before the State Board of Elections. Voters say Cawthorn, a Republican who filed for the 13th District seat last month, can’t run because he doesn’t follow a constitutional amendment ratified shortly after the Civil War.
By taking an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, members of Congress cannot engage in insurrection or rebellion against it. The charge is absurd, three years after the Civil War ended. The war began when the South seceded from the Union, declared independence, and opened fire on Fort Sumter. Four years later, 600,000 Americans died, the South was razed, and slavery, an abomination to American values, was abolished. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was ratified to prevent Confederate officials from using Congress to undo their war losses. The Amnesty Act of 1878 almost certainly nullifies this clause.
The 14th Amendment did not intend to bar someone from Congress who attended a peaceful rally on the same day 500 hotheads (or people deliberately entrapped) entered the Capitol and did nothing of note. No one has been accused of “rebellion or insurrection.” There were no weapons, no plan, and a cop killed only one victim.
The attack on Cawthorn is a test. Marc Elias, the lawyer, linked to every Trump-related scandal, has already stated that there will be “serious discussion” about unseating multiple Republicans under that Civil War–specific clause.