January 6 to take center stage at disqualification hearing for Marjorie Taylor Greene

Greene is expected to be called as a witness during the marathon hearing — making her the first lawmaker to testify under oath about their involvement in the insurrection. The outcome will reverberate beyond Georgia, because similar challenges are pending against other Republican officials and could be lodged against former President Donald Trump if he runs again in 2024.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene enters the courtroom, Friday, April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool)

The case resolves around a Civil War-era provision of the Fourteenth Amendment, which says any American official who takes an oath to uphold the Constitution is disqualified from holding any future office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” But how this applies to today is a hotly debated legal question.

Several of Greene’s constituents in her northwest Georgia district initiated the challenge last month with backing from a coalition of liberal activists and constitutional scholars. They claim Greene aided the insurrection by promoting voter fraud myths, posting videos before January 6 railing against the peaceful transfer of power, and allegedly coordinating with protest organizers.

The burden of proof will be on the challengers, to show by a “more likely than not” standard that January 6, 2021 was legally an insurrection, and that Greene helped the insurrectionists. State Judge Charles Beaudrot will preside over the administrative hearing and will issue a recommendation to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on whether Greene should be disqualified.

Greene can appeal Raffensperger’s decision in state courts. She has vehemently denied any wrongdoing regarding the insurrection at the US Capitol, maintains that she “never encouraged political violence” and says she wasn’t involved in planning any protests. Her lawyer told CNN that he thinks Friday’s hearing is a “show trial” and that the entire procedure is an egregious violation of her rights.

It’s notable that the disqualification hearing is even happening. Greene filed a federal lawsuit to shut down the state process — which is how GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn fended off a similar candidacy challenge in North Carolina. But in a blistering 75-page ruling on Monday, a federal judge rejected many of Greene’s legal arguments and allowed the state case to move forward.
The anti-Greene challenge is backed by Free Speech for People, a legal advocacy group, and Our Revolution, the left-wing group founded by Sen. Bernie Sanders. Greene, who has become infamous for peddling far-right conspiracies, has found support from some conservative legal experts and from Trump himself, who released a lie-filled statement praising her on Thursday.

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