Bloomberg Law
April 8, 2022, 3:30 PMUpdated: April 9, 2022, 3:32 PM

GOP Rep. Greene’s Foes Get Chance to Make Insurrection Case (1)

John Holland
John Holland
Senior Investigative Reporter

Georgia voters hoping to block Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) from seeking reelection can join a court battle over the issue, a federal judge ruled, keeping alive their efforts to label her an insurrectionist ineligible under the Constitution to hold a seat in Congress.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg acknowledged her ruling conflicts with one by a federal judge in North Carolina who blocked a similar challenge to the reelection bid of Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R) but said she “does not find that court’s decision persuasive on this point.”

On Thursday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the North Carolina judge’s decision to block voters from intervening and to bar a state election board from investigating voter complaints against Cawthorn’s candidacy.

Totenberg noted that 11th Circuit, where she sits, has a different standard to intervene in a federal case than in the Fourth Circuit, potentially putting the case on a path to the U.S. Supreme Court. She has set a hearing for 2 p.m. today to hear evidence on whether the a Georgia election board should be allowed to depose Taylor Greene and investigate whether she should be taken off the ballot.

Voters in Georgia and North Carolina, represented by the legal advocacy group Free Speech for People, filed state election board complaints seeking investigations and hearings on whether the words and actions of Taylor Greene and Cawthorn around the Jan. 6, 2020, attack on the U.S. Capitol constituted an insurrection.

They argued that the 14th Amendment, which prohibited those who fought against the U.S. during the Civil War from holding office, applies to any member of Congress who supported the Jan. 6 assault.

The candidates, each represented by Indiana attorney James Bopp, Jr., responded by asking federal courts to issue emergency injunctions blocking the state election boards from taking action or even investigating. Bopp argued that the state election processes were unconstitutional and that Congress passed the 1872 Amnesty Act to repeal any prohibitions against those accused of insurrection from holding office.

U.S. District Judge Richard Myers agreed and last month issued a permanent injunction against the North Carolina State Board of Elections. Myers also that Free Speech for People shouldn’t be allowed to intervene in the case. Thursday’s ruling by the Fourth Circuit refused to stay those orders, and set a hearing for May 3.

Not long after that ruling, a Georgia state hearing board ordered Taylor Greene to sit for a deposition, the first step toward a hearing on the voters’ complaints.

“Marjorie Taylor Greene is in unique possession of evidence central to Petitioners’ claim that she aided and engaged in an insurrection to obstruct the peaceful transfer of presidential power, disqualifying her from serving as a Member of Congress under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and rendering her ineligible under state and federal law to be a candidate for such office. Her deposition testimony is essential,” the board wrote.

This story will be updated.

(Updates April 8 story to include Fourth Circuit hearing date.)

To contact the reporter on this story: John Holland at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernie Kohn at