Insurrectionists can be barred from office, appeals court says

“The available evidence suggests that the Congress that enacted the 1872 Amnesty Act was, understandably, laser-focused on the then-pressing problems posed by the hordes of former Confederates seeking forgiveness,” Judge Toby J. Heytens wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel. He called it “quite a stretch” to read the law as giving “categorical advance forgiveness” to any future rebel leader.

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Cawthorn spoke at the rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol, telling the crowd to “fight.” His challengers point to that, along with reporting indicating his office was working with protest organizers before the event, to assert that he engaged in insurrection. He has denied any advance knowledge of plans for violence.

Free Speech For People also challenged the candidacy of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.); she was cleared by state officials to run for reelection, but litigation continues. A state court dismissed challenges to the candidacy of two Arizona House members.

In a statement, the group called the ruling a “major victory” that “cements the growing judicial consensus that the 1872 Amnesty Act does not shield the insurrectionists of January 6, 2021 — including Donald Trump — from the consequences of their actions.”

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