January 27, 2022

Madison Cawthorn's lawyer is doing his job when he insists his clients should be covered by an 1872 grant of amnesty to former Confederate soldiers. It's not his fault that no one takes his argument seriously! Via Talking Points Memo:

The argument from Cawthorn lawyer James Bopp Jr. came in response to a legal effort to have Cawthorn declared ineligible for office because he allegedly “encouraged, and upon reasonable suspicion helped aid, the insurrection” on Jan. 6.

The legal challenge, from a group of North Carolina voters backed by the organization Free Speech For People, alleges that Cawthorn violated the third section of the 14th Amendment, which states, “No Person shall be a […] Representative in Congress […] 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.”

On the phone with TPM Wednesday, Bopp said “there are substantial constitutional defenses, which include the fact that Congress passed the 1872 Amnesty Act, which removed all persons whatsoever from the disability under Section 3 as a result of engaging in an insurrection or rebellion.”

A lawyer has to work with what he has, but the Amnesty Act was specifically limited to those who served in the Confederate army. The 14th Amendment, on the other hand, was left open-ended to cover future insurrections -- like the one Cawthorn embraced. So probably not gonna work, dude.

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