The Arizona Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling Monday that tossed a lawsuit aimed at booting three Republicans from the November ballot.
In its four-page ruling, the high court determined the plaintiffs lacked the standing to sue and that the ability to disqualify congressional candidates through the 14th Amendment lies more with Congress than the courts.
ARIZONA JUDGE THROWS OUT LAWSUIT TO ERASE GOSAR, BIGGS, AND FINCHEM FROM BALLOT
"We note that Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment appears to expressly delegate to Congress the authority to devise the method to enforce the Disqualification Clause," the court wrote, "which suggests that A.R.S. § 16-351(B) does not provide a private right of action to invoke the Disqualification Clause against the Candidates."
Free Speech For People, a voting rights group, had appealed a decision from the Maricopa County Superior Court dismissing its case last month. The group argued that GOP Reps. Paul Gosar, Rep. Andy Biggs, and state Rep. Mark Finchem should be barred from running because they violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. The provision prohibits elected members of Congress from participating in rebellions and insurrections.
None of the three defendants in the case are known to have participated in the actual Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. But lawyers for the group argued the trio sought to overthrow the U.S. government and cited their involvement in the rally at the White House Ellipse on Jan. 6 that preceded the riot.
"No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath," the Disqualification Clause says, "to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability."
Both Gosar and Biggs are pursuing reelection, and Finchem is running to become secretary of state. Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick recused himself from the case because his wife, state Rep. Shawnna Bolick, is also running for secretary of state, per the Arizona Mirror.
Free Speech For People blasted the high court for its decision to uphold the prior decision Monday and noted the lower court had declined to hear evidence in the case.
"The Arizona Supreme Court’s decision betrays the fundamental purpose of the 14th Amendment’s insurrectionist Disqualification Clause and gives a pass to political violence as a tool for disrupting and overturning free and fair elections," the group said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
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A bevy of similar lawsuits has been brought forth against key Trumpworld figures, among them Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), but have been unsuccessful in court.
Similar to the lower court ruling, the high court declined to opine on the lawmakers' actions on Jan. 6. The high court also denied Gosar's motion requesting that the plaintiffs pay his attorney's fees, according to the Arizona Mirror. He boasted about the high court ruling on Twitter.
Breaking: The AZ Supreme Court just ruled that me, @RepAndyBiggsAZ and @RealMarkFinchem will remain on the ballot. The Democrats lose again and now have to try to beat us at the ballot box.— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) May 9, 2022
✔️Free Speech Wins
✔️No “Insurrection” no Disqualification Clause pic.twitter.com/Ct3RvtekSu