OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
Biden’s radical plan is about to hit a wall.
Socialist Democrats along with Biden have been using the violence committed by a few on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol against anyone even remotely involved, even if they didn’t take part in the rioting.
They are using lawfare to attempt to hurt Republicans, but, it’s not going so well.
An Arizona judge’s decision to reject an attempt to keep lawmakers off the election ballot because of their alleged involvement in a Jan. 6, 2021, “insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol likely presages the outcome of similar efforts in other states, according to the attorney who argued the case.
In his decision, Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury ruled against plaintiffs’ motions to remove Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) as well as state Rep. Mark Finchem, a Republican, said it takes congressional action not a suit filed by a private citizen in state court to remove an elected official from office.
“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 held.
“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 added.
The “Disqualification clause” in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment refers to the law passed by Congress after the Civil War disqualifying former Confederate officials from holding office under the U.S. Constitution.
According to Courty, “legislation that proposes to enforce the Disqualification Clause currently is pending in the United States Congress, but has not yet been enacted. Therefore, given the current state of the law and in accordance with the United States Constitution, Plaintiffs have no private right of action to assert claims under the Disqualification Clause.”
Individual Arizona citizens, 11 in all, who filed the lawsuit against Gosar, Biggs, and Finchem were represented by attorneys from Free Speech for People (FSP), an Austin, Texas-based left-wing advocacy group.
FSP said in a statement to reporters that it is planning to appeal the judge’s decision to the Arizona Supreme Court.
“This ruling is contrary to the law. Arizona is not exempted from the mandate of Section Three of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A candidate who has taken an oath of office and then engaged in insurrection has no place on a future Arizona ballot. We will be appealing this decision to the Arizona Supreme Court.”
A related lawsuit is also being brought by the FSP against Reps. Madison Cawthorne and Marjorie Taylor Greene.
In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Finchem, who is now running for the position of Secretary of State in November, participated actively in January 6 and planned his actions with Gosar and Biggs.
“Finchem was engaged in efforts to intimidate Congress and the Vice President into rejecting valid electoral votes and to subvert the essential constitutional function of an orderly and peaceful transition of power,” the complaint reads.
“Finchem was engaged with the January 6 attack by being in close contact with the planners of the Wild Protest, including throughout the day on January 6, and by participating in the attack with the advance knowledge that it was substantially likely to lead to the attack,” the complaint stated.
“Finchem promoted the events of January 6 ahead of time. He coordinated many of his efforts with U.S. Representatives Paul Gosar and Andrew Biggs, and agreed with them on a plan to first delegitimatize, then challenge, and finally overturn the 2020 presidential election,” according to the complaint.
The attorney for Gosar, George Wentz, told reporters that “the 14th amendment establishes the disqualification of people that have been engaged in insurrection or given aid and comfort to the enemy. Right there, in the 14th amendment, it says Congress shall decide how this will be enforced. And if only Congress can determine this, then certainly a state cannot.”
Wentz said that he believes plaintiffs’ attorneys are “trying to bypass the Department of Justice, they are trying to appoint themselves as a self-appointed, unaccountable to the people prosecutorial arm of the government, but they are trying to do [it] through a state law in a state civil court using [the] standard of the preponderance of the evidence.”
However, federal law requires that such prosecutions be conducted in federal criminal courts based on clear and convincing evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, Wentz noted.
As he pointed out, Congress did this by passing legislation directing the President of the United States, through the Department of Justice, to enforce the Disqualification Clause by instigating legal proceedings in federal court when it is appropriate.
“So they’re trying to do an end-run around the 14th Amendment itself,” Wentz argued.
Appellants will file appeal briefs beginning next week, and a ruling may come as early as mid-May according to today’s scheduling conference between the parties.