Marjorie Taylor Greene seeks to quash effort to block her from running for reelection

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., in a hearing in federal court on Friday, sought to quash a legal challenge that would bar her from running for another term in Congress.

Federal Judge Amy Totenberg heard arguments from lawyers for Greene, a first-term member of Congress from northwest Georgia, and from voters in her district who want to block her from running for reelection.

The lawsuit against Greene seeks to prevent her from appearing on future ballots because it alleges she violated the Constitution by encouraging and “facilitating” the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

The challenge to Greene’s candidacy is being brought by residents of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, which she represents. The legal effort is being spearheaded by a nonpartisan legal advocacy group, Free Speech for People, and a progressive political action group, Our Revolution.

Marjorie Taylor Greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Greene sought Friday to prevent the state of Georgia from hearing the challenge in the first place. Judge Totenberg, the sister of National Public Radio legal correspondent Nina Totenberg, is expected to issue a ruling Monday on whether the challenge can move forward.

If Totenberg allows the case to proceed, arguments will be heard next week by administrative law judge Charles Beaudrot Jr.

The groups bringing the challenge against Greene’s candidacy describe it as “a national campaign to ensure that election officials across the country follow the mandate of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment and bar elected officials who engaged in the insurrection, including former President Donald Trump, from appearing on any future ballot.”

The legal effort is targeting numerous Republican members of Congress who, like Greene, spread falsehoods about the 2020 election and incited Republican voters against the government in the days leading up to Jan. 6.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was adopted in 1868 to reckon with the fallout from the Civil War. The clause states that “no Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress ... who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress ... to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The legal complaint against Greene argues that the Jan. 6 riot fits the legal and historical definition of an insurrection as constituting “actions against the United States with the intent to overthrow the government of the United States or obstruct an essential constitutional function.”

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces
Trump supporters clashing with police and security personnel on Jan. 6, 2021. (Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

Greene, the complaint reads, “encouraged and was otherwise involved in efforts to intimidate Congress and the Vice President into rejecting valid electoral votes and subvert the essential constitutional function of an orderly and peaceful transition of power.”

“She was involved in either planning the attack on January 6, or alternatively the planning of the pre-attack demonstration and/or march on the Capitol with knowledge that it was substantially likely to lead to the attack, and otherwise voluntarily aided the insurrection,” it says.

Greene, the complaint says, “has a long history of advocating for violence against her political opponents and endorsing wildly false claims against them.”

“On January 7, 2019, she advocated for exactly what would happen two years later: ‘If we have a sea of people shut down the streets ... flood the Capitol building, flood all of the government buildings, go inside these are public buildings we own them,’” the suit says.

According to the suit, in a video that she later deleted, Greene said, “You can’t allow it to just transfer power ‘peacefully’ like Joe Biden wants and allow him to become our president because he did not win this election. He’s guilty of treason. It’s a crime punishable by death is what treason is. Nancy Pelosi is guilty of treason.”

Free Speech for People and Our Revolution have also brought complaints against three Arizona Republican lawmakers — Rep. Paul Gosar, Rep. Andy Biggs and state Rep. Mark Finchem — who also promoted Trump’s election lies about a stolen election, and promoted or attended the Jan. 6 rally before the assault on the Capitol.

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