Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) will likely remain on the GOP primary ballot for the election scheduled for later this month. This strikes a major blow to leftist efforts to disqualify GOP members of Congress from seeking reelection over statements made in January 2021.
State Court Judge Charles Beaudrot ruled that even if the 1/6 Capitol protest were assumed to be an insurrection — which it decidedly was not — those wanting Greene off the ballot did not prove their case.
The assertion that the conservative representative “engaged” in insurrection, Beaudrot declared, has “no preponderance of evidence.” The judge further concluded that Greene’s political views expressed before she was sworn in as a Representative are “not engaging in insurrection under the 14th Amendment.”
Beaudrot specifically noted he did not focus on what he termed Greene’s “heated political rhetoric” before she took the oath of office.
The recommendation by the state court was accepted by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Greene’s challengers say they will appeal his formal ruling in state courts.
Free Speech for People, the advocacy group supporting the challenge to Greene’s candidacy, said the decision “betrays the fundamental purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause.” They added that the ruling opens the door for using political violence to overturn elections.
The day before the Capitol violence, Greene called the next day’s joint session of Congress “our 1776 moment.” Beaudrot said it was her only conduct that came close to triggering disqualification.
Even then, he declared it is impossible for the court to tie the “vague, ambiguous statement” to the violence without an “enormous unsubstantiated leap.” He added that she did not render “aid or comfort to the enemy.”
Greene’s attorney, James Bopp Jr., said Friday that the decision marks “a great day for the First Amendment and a great day for our democracy.” He accused Democrats of attempting to win elections by disqualifying members of Congress from running.
Bopp added that Greene sheltered in the besieged Capitol along with other legislators during the incident.
If voters in northwest Georgia’s 14th congressional district decide Marjorie Taylor Greene is not suited for office — over 1/6 or any other reason — that’s their business. Two judges have now ruled that it is not the court’s business to decipher intent from political rhetoric.