Madison Cawthorn warns of ‘dangerous’ consequences if he is removed from ballot using Civil War-era ‘insurrection’ clause

‘This is going down a very dangerous path,’ Republican congressman says

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 09 February 2022 23:06
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Related video: Rep. Madison Cawthorn calls for mothers to raise ‘monster’ men in terrifying speech

Congressman Madison Cawthorn claimed North Carolina officials could face "dangerous" consequences if they remove him from the state's ballot in response to his role in the Capitol riot.

According to RawStory, opponents of Mr Cawthorn are fighting to have him disqualified for re-election by the North Carolina Board of Elections. They are attempting to use a an "insurrection" clause in the US Constitution instituted after the US Civil War to have his name taken off the ballot.

The 14th Amendment bans individuals from office if they swore to uphold the US Constitution – as Mr Cawthorn did – and then "engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof”.

"States have long enforced age and residency requirements, without question and with very few if any legal challenges," the Board of Elections wrote in a court filing. "The State has the same authority to police which candidates should or should not be disqualified per Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment."

Mr Cawthorn made his comments during an interview with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

"This is only going to lead to one place if you want to try and take the right of the people away to be able to vote for their elected official," he said. "This is going down a very dangerous path."

He claimed that former President Donald Trump would "never be able to be president again" if North Carolina officials can remove people from the ballot using the insurrection clause.

While Mr Cawthorn was not a participant in the actual riot on 6 January, 2021, he expressed no regret for taking part in the rallies that spun off the violent attack on the Capitol.

"They are specifically arguing that I engaged in insurrection or incited some kind of violence here on January 6," he said. "Now as you know, I was very proud to go speak at the Stop the Steal rally. I was very proud to debate on behalf of Wisconsin and try and block the electors in that state. And apparently that – even though it's a constitutionally protected right for me to do that as a congressman from North Carolina – they're saying that that disqualifies me."

He told Mr Bannon he planned to fight the move to have his name taken off the state's ballots.

"But unfortunately, we're going to have to fight it, which is ridiculous," Mr Cawthorn said. "We'll probably go to the North Carolina Supreme Court and if they shockingly rule against us and they are actually just these liberal activists like we suspect they are then we're probably going to have to take this case all the way to the United States Supreme Court and it's going to be one hell of a ride."

It's not the first time Mr Cawthorn has made what appears to be a veiled threat.

In August, Mr Cawthorn spoke at a GOP event in North Carolina, where he repeated the lie that the 2020 election had been stolen, and suggested if election security as Republicans view it is not implemented, there could be violence.

"And I will tell you, as much as I am willing to defend our liberty at all costs, there's nothing that I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American. And the way that we can have recourse against that is if we all passionately demand that we have election security in all 50 states," he said.

When asked if Mr Cawthorn was making a threat, his spokesman, Luke Ball, told CNN that he was "CLEARLY advocating for violence not to occur over election integrity questions."

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