Appeals Court Agrees to Hear Oral Arguments on Mark Meadows’s Emergency Motion in Georgia Election Case

The oral arguments will be heard on Sept. 15 via Zoom by a three-judge panel.
Appeals Court Agrees to Hear Oral Arguments on Mark Meadows’s Emergency Motion in Georgia Election Case
Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows at the White House in Washington, on Oct. 21, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Katabella Roberts

An appeals court on Sept. 13 agreed to hear oral arguments on an emergency motion filed by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows related to the charges listed against him in the Fulton County, Georgia election-racketeering case.

Attorneys for Mr. Meadows filed an emergency motion with the court this month seeking to pause criminal proceedings in the Georgia election case while he appeals a lower court’s order denying his effort to have the case removed to federal court.

The oral arguments will be heard at 10:15 a.m. on Sept. 15 via Zoom by a three-judge panel consisting of Circuit Judges Robin Rosenbaum and Adalberto Jordan, both of whom were appointed by President Barack Obama, and Charles Wilson, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, The Messenger reported.
Earlier in the day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit also granted Mr. Meadows’s separate request to expedite his emergency stay appeal and set an initial briefing schedule on the matter, ABC News reported.

In its ruling Wednesday, the appeals court ordered Mr. Meadows to file an initial brief on the matter by Sept. 18, while a response is due from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis by Sept. 25, according to the publication.

Once those briefings have been submitted, the court said it would schedule oral arguments on the matter if it determines it is “warranted.”

Mr. Meadows filed a notice of appeal as well as a request for an emergency stay with the appeals court after Judge Steve Jones last week rejected his efforts to have his criminal charges moved to federal court, ruling that the case should be sent back to Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta because he lacked jurisdiction in the matter.

Meadows Argues Supremacy Clause Grants Protections

Lawyers for Mr. Meadows have argued in court documents (pdf) that the case should be moved because the allegations made against him in the indictment are connected to his job as a White House official, contending that he is immune from state prosecution under the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause, which protects federal officials from “being arrested and brought to trial in a state court.”
However, Judge Jones, who was appointed in 2011 by President Obama, said in last week’s ruling (pdf) that the allegations against Mr. Meadows were largely “related to political activities” and not his role as White House chief of staff.

“The evidence before the Court overwhelmingly suggests that Meadows was not acting in his scope of executive branch duties during most of the Overt Acts alleged,” the judge wrote.

“Even if Meadows took on tasks that mirror the duties that he carried out when acting in his official role as White House Chief of Staff (such as attending meetings, scheduling phone calls, and managing the President’s time) he has failed to demonstrate how the election-related activities that serve as the basis for the charges in the Indictment are related to any of his official acts,” the judge added.

Another Request Denied

On Wednesday, Judge Jones also denied the stay request from Mr. Meadows asking the court to temporarily stop the order remanding the racketeering prosecution to state court, arguing in his ruling (pdf) that the former White House official had “failed to show a stay should be granted.”

A total of 19 people, including former President Donald Trump, were indicted on Aug. 14 by a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, over their efforts to dispute the results of the 2020 election in the state.

The indictment (pdf), brought by Ms. Willis, charges all of the individuals with at least one count of violating the Georgia RICO Act—the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act—as well as a string of others.

Mr. Meadows is charged with two counts in the case: racketeering and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer.

All 19 defendants in the case have pleaded not guilty. Ms. Willis has vowed to try all 19 defendants in the case together.

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