OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
An Arizona judge has ruled against efforts from liberals to disqualify two House Republicans and a state representative off the November ballot.
The judge ruled against removing Arizona GOP Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs as well as state Republican Rep. Mark Finchem over their alleged involvement at the U.S. Capitol last January.
“Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury said in his ruling Friday that because GOP Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs and state Republican Rep. Mark Finchem are elected officials removing them from the ballot over the 14th Amendment’s Disqualification Clause require congressional action – not a suit brought by private citizens in a state court,” The Epoch Times reported.
“The express language of the United States Constitution controls this issue. The Disqualification Clause creates a condition where someone can be disqualified from serving in public office. However, the Constitution provides that legislation enacted by Congress is required to enforce the disqualification pursuant to the Disqualification Clause,” Coury ruled.
“Aside from criminal statutes dealing with insurrection and rebellion which Congress has enacted (lawsuits which require the government, not private citizens, to initiate), Congress has not passed legislation that is presently in effect which enforces the Disqualification Clause against the candidates,” Coury said.
A voters’ advocacy group said it will appeal a judge’s decision to dismiss its lawsuit that sought to keep U.S. Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar and state Rep. Mark Finchem off Arizona ballots.
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The ruling could foreshadow the outcome of a similar case against Georgia GOP Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene, who is facing a similar lawsuit from liberals to have her removed from November’s ballot.
Earlier this month, an Obama-appointed federal judge allowed a liberal lawsuit aimed at disqualifying Greene from running for re-election over her alleged role at the U.S. Capitol last January.
“The challenge to Greene’s candidacy was mounted by a group of five voters from her congressional district who argued she is ineligible to run for federal office under a provision of the 14th Amendment that was ratified after the Civil War and meant to keep former Confederate officers and officials from holding public office again,” CBS News reported.
“In a challenge filed with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in late March, the voters argued Greene voluntarily aided and engaged in the January 6 insurrection to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power, thereby disqualifying her from serving as a member of Congress under the constitutional provision,” the report continued.
“Greene asked a federal court in Atlanta to intervene in the effort from the group of voters, seeking a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. But Judge Amy Totenberg of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia rebuffed Greene’s request, finding she failed to establish a strong likelihood of success on the legal merits of the case,” the report added.
During a hearing last week, the judge in the case appeared to laugh and cover his face with his hand after a viral moment from Greene.
The attorney representing the group to keep her off the ballot showed a scene from the movie “Independence Day” and compared it with a speech that Greene had given.
“That phrase, ‘We aren’t the people that are going to go quietly into the night,’ is not something that you came up with on your own […] that’s something you borrowed from a movie script,” prosecutor Andrew Celli said. “You borrowed it from the movie Independence Day.”
Greene said that she did not recall getting inspiration from the movie and acknowledged that other people said it before the actor in the movie and others are likely to give the same line, which was “The Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday but as the day when the world declared in one voice: ‘We will not go quietly into the night.”
They are literally quoting Independence Day to MTG at this point
BlueAnon has lost their ever-loving minds pic.twitter.com/k3iHqHks8g
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) April 22, 2022
“I don’t view courtrooms and politics as Hollywood as you do,” the representative said. “That’s not the first person I’m sure that said that and won’t be the last. I don’t recall getting any inspiration from this Hollywood movie like you’re suggesting.”
But what brought the judge to apparent laughter was when the prosecutor chided Greene for invoking 1776, the year of the founding of the United States.
“And you know that the term 1776 is actually a term that’s sometimes used in politics today,” the prosecutor said, arguing that it was “also a term that was used in political discourse today.”
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed our state seal here in Georgia, I know you’re not from Georgia, but as you can see we enjoy our history and we’re proud of our freedoms. 1776 is on our state seal,” she said as the judge facepalmed.
“I have used it as a term, but I do not use it as a term of violence as you’re trying to push,” she said.
When the petitioner tries to get MTG to say that her use of "1776" was a call for violence, she points out that 1776 is on the Georgia state seal:
"I don't know if you've noticed our state seal here in Georgia, but as you can see we enjoy our history and are proud of our freedom pic.twitter.com/fYDW6q7Iig
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 22, 2022