Wilmington, NC – Today, a federal judge in North Carolina issued an injunction against the North Carolina State Board of Elections—this injunction prohibits the Board from hearing challenges, brought by several North Carolina voters, against Representative Madison Cawthorn's candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Recently, a group of Challengers filed a complaint with the NCSBE attempting to disqualify Rep. Cawthorn from running for Congress. They alleged that Rep. Cawthorn does not meet the federal constitutional requirements for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives because he engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States on January 6th. Rep. Cawthorn vigorously denies that he “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States, and his suit sought to enjoin the NCSBE from employing unconstitutional and unlawful provisions of North Carolina election law to remove him from the ballot as a Candidate.
The judge held that due to the substantial likelihood that Rep. Cawthorn's candidacy will be significantly impacted by the challenges before the upcoming primary, it was proper for the court to determine whether the Board could proceed with the challenge. The court held that the North Carolina law violated federal law, to the extent Challenges are based upon the “insurrection” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, because Congress removed that Amendment's application to any current Members of Congress in The Amnesty Act of 1872.
“It is a great honor and privilege to run for office, and it is also a right protected under the Constitution,” said Rep. Cawthorn. “I love this country and have never engaged in, or would ever engage in, an insurrection against the United States. Regardless of this fact, liberal Democrats attempted to defeat democracy by having state bureaucrats, rather than the People, choose who will represent North Carolina's 11th District in Congress. The group behind the challenge to my candidacy promised I was just the first of many such challenges they had planned. By bringing this suit, I defended not only my rights, but the right of the People to democratically elect their representatives and the rights of other candidates who may be subjected to such tactics.”
“North Carolina's law clearly violates federal law as applied to Rep. Cawthorn,” said James Bopp, Jr., of The Bopp Law Firm, lead counsel for Rep. Cawthorn. “We are pleased the court recognized this government overreach. But more fundamentally, we are pleased that the People of North Carolina's 11th Congressional District will be the final voice to pick their Representative, not state bureaucrats in Raleigh. The national implication for today's victory is huge—liberal activists should be warned that such blatant attempts to subvert our democracy will be fought at every turn.”