Maricopa County Judge Tosses Lawsuit Seeking to Block Biggs, Gosar from Ballot

WATERLOO, IA - SEPTEMBER 27: Voting booths are set up for early voting at the Black Hawk C
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Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury tossed a lawsuit on Friday that sought to prevent Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and state Rep. Mark Finchem (R) from running in 2022 for reelection.

The action taken on behalf of Arizona voters alleged Republicans were ineligible for the November ballot because they participated in the January 6 incident, which the media dubbed an insurrection.

Lawsuits seeking to disqualify the Republicans were based on section three of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution enacted after the Civil War.

Judge Coury ruled that private citizens cannot sue to block candidates from the ballot. That right is left up to congressional authority. Coury noted federal legislation has been proposed to enforce the clause in the Constitution but added it would also permit the U.S. attorney general to take action in federal court:

Congress has not created a private right of action to allow a citizen to enforce the Disqualification Cause by having a person declared to be ‘not qualified’ to hold public office.

The court in Griffin then summarized how the Disqualification Clause was intended to operate: “Taking the [Disqualification Clause] then, in its completeness with this final clause, it seems to put beyond reasonable question the conclusion that the intention of the people of the United States, in adopting the fourteenth amendment, was to create a disability, to be removed in proper cases by a two-thirds vote, and to be made operative in other cases by the legislation of congress in its ordinary course.”

Attorney Jim Barton, who represents the Arizona voters, is expected to appeal the case to the Arizona Supreme Court.

The court case is Thomas Hasen v. Mark Finchem, No cv 2022004321 in the Maricopa County Superior Court of Arizona. 

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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