AZ Supreme Court rejects bid to disqualify 3 GOP candidates from primary

The Arizona Supreme Court on Monday rejected claims that three Republican lawmakers should be disqualified for appearing on the August primary ballot in that state over their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 rally and subsequent unrest at the U.S. Capitol, as the Daily Wire reports.

In determining that GOP Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs as well as State Rep. Mark Finchem may remain on the ballot in their chosen races, the Arizona high court found no merit in the plaintiffs’ contention that the U.S. Constitution’s Disqualification Clause was triggered by the men’s alleged involvement in “acts that amounted to an insurrection or rebellion,” necessitating their exclusion from the upcoming electoral contests.

As Arizona Public Media noted, plaintiffs from the group Free Speech for People asserted that Gosar, Biggs, and Finchem either assisted in the planning the unrest that unfolded at the Capitol building itself or were instrumental in organizing the rally and march that preceded it, knowing full well that it would likely result in violence.

When the case was initially heard in Maricopa County Superior Court, the Republican candidates also prevailed, with that tribunal deciding that Congress never established any private right of action with regard to enforcement of the Disqualification Clause, and neither did the state legislature in its drafting of its criminal prohibition of insurrection or its laws governing election challenges.

Further, the Superior Court found, the U.S. Constitution provided Congress only with the authority to assess qualifications for holding office, and that a state-level challenge is not the manner in which a Disqualification Clause challenge should be lodged.

As news of the decision broke, Gosar took to Twitter to celebrate the ruling, writing, “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.”

The group behind the Arizona challenges has also initiated similar litigation against high-profile Republican lawmakers in other states, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia and Rep. Madison Cawthorn in North Carolina.

Notably, the arguments against Greene’s candidacy were rejected by a judge in Georgia just last week, and the state’s top election official confirmed that as a result, the conservative firebrand would remain on the Republican primary ballot, as NBC News reported.

Greene lauded that outcome, stating, “Thankfully, this attempt to rig another election was stopped in its tracks,” likely echoing the sentiments of Republican voters not just in Georgia, but now in Arizona as well.