The challenge to Greene’s eligibility is based on a section of the 14th Amendment. The section says no one can serve 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.”
“Whatever the exact parameters of the meaning of ‘engage’ as used in the 14th Amendment, and assuming for these purposes that the Invasion was an insurrection, Challengers have produced insufficient evidence to show that Rep. Greene ‘engaged’ in that insurrection after she took the oath of office on January 3, 2021,” Beaudrot wrote in his recommendation. He added that while Greene’s “public statements and heated rhetoric” may have contributed to the environment that led to the attack, her statements are protected by the First Amendment right to free speech.
Friday’s decision came just weeks after Beaudrot held a daylong hearing that included arguments from lawyers for the voters and for Greene. Greene also testified, and Beaudrot received extensive briefing from both sides.
Beaudrot’s recommendation to allow Marjorie Taylor Greene to run for reelection has ben sent to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who will make the final decision. A spokesperson for Raffensperger confirmed as such, saying Raffensperger “will release his final decision soon.”
Raffensperger is perhaps best known for refusing to bend to pressure from Trump to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia in an infamous phone call. With Greene being a Trump ally, Raffensberger’s decision could affect his chance of winning his own primary set for later this month.