The unprecedented attack on free speech and democracy that was attempting to ban U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from reelection has failed after Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger accepted a judge’s findings Friday and said Rep. Greene is qualified to run for office.
The challenge to Rep. Greene’s eligibility to run was launched by a group of leftist voters determined to take away our rights to free speech and free and fair elections by claiming she had engaged in insurrection.
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Rep. Greene celebrated the announcement but warned of further authoritarian moves by the radical left. “The battle is only beginning,” she said in a statement. “The left will never stop their war to take away our freedoms.” She added, “This ruling gives me hope that we can win and save our country.“
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Georgia Administrative Law Judge Charles Beaudrot issued a decision hours earlier that Greene was eligible to run, finding the voters hadn’t produced sufficient evidence to back their claims. After Raffensperger adopted the judge’s decision, the group that filed the complaint on behalf of the voters vowed to appeal. Fox8 report:
Before reaching his decision, Beaudrot had held a daylong hearing in April that included arguments from lawyers for the voters and for Greene, as well as extensive questioning of Greene herself. He also received additional filings from both sides.
Raffensperger is being challenged by a candidate backed by former President Donald Trump in the state’s May 24 GOP primary after he refused to bend to pressure from Trump to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. Raffensperger could have faced huge blowback from right-wing voters if he had disagreed with Beaudrot’s findings.
Raffensperger wrote in his “final decision” that typical challenges to a candidate’s eligibility have to do with questions about residency or whether they have paid their taxes. Such challenges are allowed under a procedure outlined in Georgia law.
“In this case, Challengers assert that Representative Greene’s political statements and actions disqualify her from office,” Raffensperger’s decision said. “That is rightfully a question for the voters of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.”
The challenge was filed for five voters in her district by Free Speech for People, a national election and campaign finance reform group. They allege the GOP congresswoman played a significant role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot that disrupted Congress’ certification of Biden’s presidential victory. They had argued that put her in violation of a seldom-invoked part of the 14th Amendment having to do with insurrection and makes her ineligible to run for reelection.
Greene applauded Beaudrot’s decision and called the challenge to her eligibility an “unprecedented attack on free speech, on our elections, and on you, the voter.”
“But the battle is only beginning,” she said in a statement. “The left will never stop their war to take away our freedoms.” She added, “This ruling gives me hope that we can win and save our country.”
Free Speech for People had sent a letter to Raffensperger on Friday urging him to reject the judge’s recommendation. They have 10 days to make their planned appeal of his decision in Fulton County Superior Court.
The group said in a statement that Beaudrot’s decision “betrays the fundamental purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause and gives a pass to political violence as a tool for disrupting and overturning free and fair elections.”
During the April 22 hearing, Ron Fein, a lawyer for the voters, noted that in a TV interview the day before the attack at the U.S. Capitol, Greene said the next day would be “our 1776 moment.” Lawyers for the voters said some supporters of then-President Trump used that reference to the American Revolution as a call to violence.