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Judge Rules Marjorie Taylor Greene Will Stay on Ballot

July 26, 2022 by Dan McCue
Judge Rules Marjorie Taylor Greene Will Stay on Ballot
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

ATLANTA — A superior court judge in Atlanta has ruled Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., is eligible to run for reelection to Congress.

The ruling by Chief Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court was a blow to the five voters in Greene’s district who sought to have her removed from the November 2022 ballot due to her alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

They, and Free Speech For People, a national election and campaign finance reform group, claimed Greene’s statements and actions before the siege effectively were an act of treason that triggered a rarely invoked provision in the 14th Amendment that barred individuals who engaged in rebellion from holding office.

Greene spent hours on the stand in April before Administrative Law Judge Charles Beaudrot, who ultimately ruled on May 6 that Greene should not be disqualified from appearing on the ballot in her district.

His recommendation then went to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who immediately affirmed it.

The voters then appealed to the Fulton County Superior Court, claiming Judge Beaudrot had made at least four legal errors in making his decision.

Specifically, that complained that Beaudrot had he improperly shifted the burden of establishing qualification for office from the candidate (where, they said, it lies according to Georgia Supreme Court precedent) to the voters; that he improperly quashed the challengers’ notice to produce documents; that he improperly discounted all of Greene’s pre-January 3, 2021 conduct, including her statement that “You can’t allow [Congress] to just transfer power peacefully like Joe Biden wants and allow him to become our President”; and that while he initially recited the correct legal standard for “engaging” in insurrection, he later applied an incorrect standard that would have required “months of planning and plotting.”

But Brasher said he found no problem in any of these areas.

As a result, Greene will appear on the ballot for the November general election, where she is heavily favored to win another term.

In a statement, Free Speech For People said, “Judge Brasher’s short decision rejected the appeal with minimal legal analysis, largely simply stating that the administrative law judge’s legal decisions were within his discretion. 

“Judge Brasher declined to decide any of Greene’s counterclaims, such as that the events of Jan. 6 were not an insurrection, or that the candidate challenge process was unconstitutional. In essence, his opinion affirms the administrative law judge’s opinion without adding or changing anything,” the group continued, adding, “No decision has yet been made as to whether to file a further appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.” 

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and @DanMcCue

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