Challenge to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Candidacy Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
April 19, 2022 Updated: April 19, 2022

A federal judge ruled on Monday that a left-wing group’s challenge to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) candidacy in this year’s elections can proceed.

The lawsuit seeking to block Greene from seeking reelection claims the lawmaker violated the Constitution’s Disqualification Clause by engaging in a supposed insurrection against the U.S. government in the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol building.

Judge Amy Totenberg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, rejected Greene’s request for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order in the case.

In a 73-page ruling, the judge ruled that Greene, 47, had failed to meet the “burden of persuasion” in her request for a temporary injunction. She wrote that the court focused on whether Greene could “establish a strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits of her legal claims.”

“This case involves a whirlpool of colliding constitutional interests of public import,” the judge wrote. “The novelty of the factual and historical posture of this case—especially when assessed in the context of a preliminary injunction motion reviewed on a fast track—has made resolution of the complex legal issues at stake here particularly demanding.”

Greene, an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump, represents Georgia’s 14th congressional district.

The lawsuit (pdf) against Greene was filed by supporters of a nonprofit called Free Speech for People on March 24 with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican.

The challenge alleged Greene “aided and engaged in an insurrection to obstruct the peaceful transfer of presidential power, disqualifying her from serving as a Member of Congress under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and rendering her ineligible under state and federal law to be a candidate for such office.”

The rarely invoked Disqualification Clause in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was enacted in the wake of the Civil War to keep former Confederates out of Congress.

The challenge brought by the left-wing group claims Greene cannot serve in Congress because “before, on, and after January 6, 2021, Greene voluntarily aided and engaged in an insurrection to obstruct the peaceful transfer of presidential power, disqualifying her from serving as a Member of Congress under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and rendering her ineligible under state and federal law to be a candidate for such office.”

Greene vigorously denies the claims in the lawsuit and argues that the state law governing election challenges is unconstitutional because it shifts the burden of proof from accuser to accused.

James Bopp Jr., an attorney for Greene, described the ruling as flawed on Monday night, The New York Times reported. The lawyer said the judge’s decision minimized the adverse effect that the disqualification effort was having on his client’s right to run for office.

“This is fundamentally antidemocratic,” Bopp said. He said his client had “publicly and vigorously condemned the attack on the Capitol.”

Bopp described the attempt to stop Greene from running for re-election as part of a well-funded U.S.-wide effort to deny voters the right to vote for candidates of their choosing.

Elections are determined by “bureaucrats, judges, lawyers and clever legal arguments,” the lawyer told The Times.

“The left-wing Democrat activists attempting to RIP me off the ballot hate you, the people of Northwest Georgia, for sending me to Congress to fight for our values,” Greene said in a statement on Gab.

“They look down on us for wanting to secure our border, ending abortion, protecting our Second Amendment, stopping the out-of-control spending and all the insanity that takes place in Washington,” she wrote.

“I went to D.C. and I’ve been fighting their communist agenda every step of the way. And now, they are trying to prevent you from voting for me.”

The Epoch Times has contacted Greene for additional comment.

Matthew Vadum contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.