Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Who Can Throw Madison Cawthorn Out? The U.S. Constitution doesn't allow states to invent qualifications for serving in Congress and exclude candidates from the ballot for failing to meet them, and related stories

Photo: callaghan o'hare/Reuters
Who Can Throw Madison Cawthorn Out?
Only his constituents or two-thirds of the House. A state election-board action would be unconstitutional.
The U.S. Constitution doesn’t allow states to invent qualifications for serving in Congress and exclude candidates from the ballot for failing to meet them. Yet that is precisely what the North Carolina State Board of Elections is trying to do to Rep. Madison Cawthorn.
Mr. Cawthorn, who was elected in 2020, attended President Trump’s rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. Mr. Cawthorn offered acerbic rhetoric ahead of and during the rally, falsely casting doubt on the election result and using the word “fight” when addressing the audience. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the riot that ensued at the Capitol a “failed insurrection.”
Opponents of Mr. Cawthorn argue that he is ineligible to serve in Congress, despite his current service there. They point to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, a provision enacted after the Civil War, which says that no one may be a member of Congress who has taken an oath to support the Constitution and later “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S.
But who decides whether Mr. Cawthorn is eligible? In North Carolina, the five-member state election board is empowered to hear challenges to candidates’ eligibility. The board can hold a hearing, take evidence and issue a judgment. If it concludes that a candidate is ineligible, the board can exclude him from the ballot. Excluded candidates can appeal that decision in court.
A group of North Carolina voters challenged Mr. Cawthorn’s eligibility. That process is on hold while state courts hear redistricting cases, but Mr. Cawthorn has filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the board lacks the power to review his qualifications. --->READ MORE HERE
Election Board Says It Can Bar Rep. Cawthorn's Candidacy If He Violated Constitution:
The North Carolina State Board of Elections has hit back at a lawsuit by Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) declaring that it does have the power to block his reelection following a constitutional challenge to his next campaign.
Cawthorn’s reelection bid is being challenged in a complaint before the board from state voters over the Republican’s support for last year’s riot at the U.S. Capitol. It cites Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, adopted in the wake of the Civil War, which bars lawmakers who have “engaged in insurrection” — or helped others to do so — against the U.S. government.
“Publicly available evidence, including Rep. Cawthorn’s statements and reports that he or his office coordinated with the Jan. 6 organizers, establish reasonable suspicion that Rep. Cawthorn aided the insurrection, thereby disqualifying him from federal office,” said Ron Fein, legal director of the nonpartisan Free Speech for People, which filed the complaint on behalf of 13 voters.
Cawthorn argued in a responding lawsuit that it would be “unconstitutional” for the election board to block his candidacy. “Running for political office is quintessential First Amendment activity and afforded great protection,” the suit stated. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow link below to a related story:

Madison Cawthorn challenges: New complaints filed, NC board will fight his lawsuit

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