Madison Cawthorn’s Incitement of Insurrection Should Knock Him Off the Ballot

On January 3, 2021, Madison Cawthorn was sworn in as the youngest member of the US House of Representatives. The 25-year-old Republican from North Carolina has accepted his oath of office “To support and defend the United States Constitution against all enemies at home and abroad”.

Three days later, Cawthorn appeared with Donald Trump at the so-called “Stop the Steal” rally where the Republican president and his allies called on insurgents to march on the US Capitol to prevent certification of election results that confirmed Trump’s defeat in 2020 election . Like Trump, who was to be charged that day for his seditious words and deeds, Cawthorn celebrated the fact that the rally had “some disputes”. Spreading the lie that the Democrats were “cheating on this election”, the congressman said, “The constitution has been violated.” Then he asked the crowd to support him if “we are going to vote today at 12 noon.”

The rally appearance culminated in weeks of agitation by Cawthorn, which reiterated and reinforced Trump’s claims that the elections had been “rigged” and “stolen” and which urged young right wing activists to intimidate and pressurize Congressmen unwilling to overturn the election results. On the occasion of a meeting in December 2020, he defined“Ladies and gentlemen, the fight for America is just beginning and, to be honest, I feel sorry for the enemies of freedom and justice because they have no idea what they have just started.”

After the violent attack on the Capitol, killing five people and injuring 140 police officers, Cawthorn implemented the insurgent’s agenda Vote to reject the vote of the electoral college of states that preferred Joe Biden Trump to Democrat. He then referred to the arrested insurgents as “Political prisoner. ”And he argued that “if our voting systems continue to be manipulated and stolen, then it will lead to a place – and it is bloodshed.”

It is difficult to review Cawthorn’s records and not conclude that he has violated his oath to bear “true faith and allegiance” to the US Constitution, the conditions, in Amendment 14, Section 3:

No one may be a senator or representative in Congress, or elected president or vice president, or hold any civil or military office under the United States or under any state that has previously taken an oath as a member of Congress or as an official of the United States or as a member of any legislature of a state or as a senior or judicial officer of a state in support of the United States Constitution, aid or comfort in insurrections or rebellions against one or his enemies.

By that standard, it is perfectly reasonable – and necessary – to argue that Cawthorn disqualified himself from further service in Congress. North Carolina law does not allow a candidate who “does not meet the constitutional or statutory requirements for the office sought” to appear on the ballot.

But Cawthorn is applying for a second term. So it went to the North Carolina electorate, one Review of his candidacy with one eye on getting his name off the list of contenders.

In a lawsuit filed by lawyers with the national Free Speech for People group along with leading electoral lawyers in North Carolina, state voters filed a formal lawsuit against Cawthorn’s re-election bid. In it, they call on the North Carolina State Electoral Committee to take steps that could lead to a determination that the representative is constitutionally disqualified “on the basis of reasonable suspicion that he facilitated the January 6, 2021 insurrection” .

“This challenge is about enforcing the United States Constitution.” said Robert F. Orr, a former Republican judge on the North Carolina Supreme Court who is one of the attorneys supporting the challenge. “The constitution stipulates that those who take the oath in support of the constitution and then violate this oath are expelled from office.”

Former North Carolina Supreme Court chairman James G. Exum Jr. serves as an attorney in the Cawthorn Eligibility Challenge.

The fact that prominent lawyers, lawyers, and good government activists are on board underscores the seriousness of the initiative, as does the fact that the North Carolina electoral body promptly convened a meeting to set up an official body to hear The Complaint.

Cawthorn will be the first incumbent House member to face such a challenge – but he won’t be the last. A number of House members have been identified by the Stop the Steal rally planners as having worked with them, either directly or through assigned staff – including Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Mo Brooks from Alabama, Andy Biggs from Arizona and Louie Gohmert from Texas. In addition, there are eight senators and 139 MPs who, after the deadly attack on the Capitol, brought help and comfort to the coup attempt by voting to support one or both of the objections to the election result that Trump supporters are currently considering were attacked.

The Cawthorn Challenge is vital to the whole process of holding coup plotters and insurgents accountable as it gets to the heart of the question of whether members of the House of Representatives must abide by the constitution they swear to support and defend . “As set out in our complaint, the publicly available evidence, including Rep. Cawthorn’s own testimony and reports, establishes that he or his office co-ordinates with the organizers of the 6th, said Ron Fein, the constitutional attorney who serves as the legal director of Free Speech For People.” serves. “We look forward to asking him about his commitment under oath.”


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