A group of North Carolina voters told state officials that they want Madison Cawthorn disqualified as a candidate for Congress, citing his speech at a “Save America Rally” on the morning of January 6, 2021, as an act of involvement in an insurrection.
Lawyers who filed the suit on behalf of 11 voters contend that Cawthorn’s speech violated the 14th Amendment, which states that no person “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.” The 14th Amendment was ratified shortly after the Civil War.
“Claiming to be fighting a battle for our Constitution, Cawthorn has engaged in blatant acts of insurrection,” added John Wallace, another lawyer who filed the suit. “He must be held accountable for his actions which have threatened our democracy. Wisely, the Constitution provides a remedy for our protection. We seek here the imposition of that remedy.”
Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People, said the Cawthorn challenge will be the first of many they intend to file against other members of Congress associated with the insurrection in the near future.
Cawthorn, 26, the youngest member of the House, is running in a newly created 13th congressional district in North Carolina.
The challenge asks the State Board of Elections to convene a five-member panel from within the 13th District, and to let them question Cawthorn under oath in a deposition before the regional panel convenes, and to subpoena him and others to obtain documents.
Cawthorn voted against certifying Biden’s election, but later signed a letter congratulating Biden.
Cawthorn condemned the Capitol riots, but also last summer warned North Carolinians of potential “bloodshed” over future elections he claims could “continue to be stolen,” and questioned whether Biden was “dutifully elected.”