Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Arizona Judge Knicks Suits Who Wants Trump to Support from Ballot

PHOENIX ( Associated Press) — A judge in Phoenix has dismissed lawsuits seeking to disqualify three Republican lawmakers from this year’s ballot because they participated in or helped organize a January 6, 2021 rally in Washington. Due to which there was an unprecedented attack on the Congress.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Cory’s decision, made public Friday, means Reps. Paul Goser and Andy Biggs and State Rep. Mark Finchem will remain on the primary ballot except for a reversal by the state Supreme Court. Gosar and Biggs are seeking re-election and FinChem is running for Secretary of State, Arizona’s chief electoral officer.

The lawsuits, filed on behalf of a handful of Arizona voters, allege that Gosar, Biggs and Finchem could not stay in office because they participated in a rebellion. He cited a clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution Enacted after the Civil War.

None of the lawmakers are accused of participating in an actual attack on Congress that was intended to prevent authentication of President Joe Biden’s victory.

Corey concurred with lawmakers’ lawyers who said Congress created no enforcement mechanism for the 14th Amendment, except for a criminal conviction. He said that Congress had proposed such a law in view of the attack on Congress but it has not been implemented.

“Therefore, given the current state of the law and in accordance with the United States Constitution, the plaintiff has no private right of action to claim under the disqualification clause,” Corrie wrote.

He also rejected the argument that state law created an enforcement mechanism that allows people to be prosecuted for enforcing a provision of the 14th Amendment. And he said, at least for Biggs and Goser, qualification for a member of Congress is purely a federal matter.

“The text of the Constitution is mandatory,” Corrie wrote. “It determines the single arbiter of the qualifications of the members of Congress; that single arbiter is Congress.”

Lawyers representing voters challenging the lawmakers, Jim Barton, urged Corey on Wednesday to plan a three-day trial, even though he has dismissed the case. But Corey refused to do so, noting that electoral challenge cases are hasty by definition and there is no proper place for such legal wrangling.

“Arizona’s election challenge framework is not suitable for a detailed analysis of the complex constitutional, legal and factual issues presented in this case,” he wrote.

Kauri noted that Gosar’s lawyer, Alexander Kolodin, raised issues of freedom of expression. And Kolodin insisted that after Friday’s decision became public.

“If radical leftists want our courts to punish dissenting speech, they are in the wrong position,” Kolodin said.

Free Speech for People, a group representing Arizona voters, appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court, saying Corey’s decision was “contrary to the law.”

“Arizona is not exempt from the mandate of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution,” the group said in a statement. “A candidate who has taken the oath of office and then engages in rebellion has no place in a future Arizona ballot.”

The rally where former President Donald Trump spoke and urged attendees to march on the Capitol led to deadly clashes. Protesters forcibly entered Congress while lawmakers testified to President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.

Arizona lawsuits are now featured in complaints by Free Speech for People attorneys against current members of Congress from Georgia and North Carolina.

Voters in Georgia are trying to kick flamboyant Republican and Trump supporter Marjorie Taylor Green off the ballot for similar reasons. She was in court on Friday.

And voters in western North Carolina want Republican US Representative Madison Cawthorne, who spoke at a pre-riot rally that was tossed from the ballot.

Cawthorne filed suit and last month a federal judge blocked the challenge Proceedings filed with the state’s election board, writing that the laws approved by Congress in 1872 and 1898 meant that the 14th Amendment clause could not apply to members of the current House.


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