Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has run to federal court to file a lawsuit to block his potential disqualification from holding office.
According to The News & Observer, Cawthorn is arguing that the North Carolina Board of Elections does not have the authority to disqualify him from the ballot, “His lawsuit says the N.C. State Board of Elections has no authority to keep him off the ballot in the first place, and so the challenge against him should be dropped, and the state law allowing for such challenges should be ruled unconstitutional.”
Ron Fein, Legal Director, Free Speech For People, and co-lead counsel for the voters suing to have Cawthorn disqualified, said in a statement to PoliticusUSA, “It is unfortunate that Madison Cawthorn has decided to run to federal court instead of complying with the process before the State Board of Elections. Cawthorn’s attempt to bypass the state’s well-developed procedures for resolving candidacy challenges is based on misunderstandings of federal and state law. When North Carolina sought to rejoin the Union in 1868, one of the conditions was that the state would enforce the Fourteenth Amendment’s Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause–and that’s exactly what our challenge seeks to do. We intend to move to intervene in this federal court case to oppose Cawthorn’s attempted end-run around the laws that the people of North Carolina enacted for addressing candidacy challenges.”
Rep. Cawthorn’s Played A Role In The Insurrection
Madison Cawthorn spoke at Trump’s 1/6 rally and urged the crowd not to sit on their hands but to hold members of Congress accountable. Cawthorn has also encouraged more violence with threats of another January 6th type event.
The fact that Cawthorn isn’t disputing the allegations made in the voter lawsuit but is arguing legal authority and process is telling.
Rep. Cawthorn’s lawsuit is a variation of Trump’s claim that the 1/6 Committee doesn’t have the legal authority to investigate him.
Trump lost that claim at every level of the judicial system, and it would not be surprising to see Cawthorn’s lawsuit experience a similar fate.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association