Trump-appointed judge stops challenge to GOP Rep. Cawthorn's candidacy over Jan. 6

"HUGE VICTORY! The left's lawfare tactics have failed. On to re-election!" Rep. Madison Cawthorn tweeted in response to the ruling.

Updated: March 4, 2022 - 4:00pm

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    A federal judge Friday blocked a challenge to GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn's 2022 reelection bid that was filed over his Jan. 6 speech just prior to the U.S. Capitol riot.

    Federal Judge Richard Myers, of the eastern district of North Carolina  and appointed by President Trump, approved Cawthorn's preliminary injunction request to the challenge of his candidacy for reelection, The Hill reported.

    In January, 11 North Carolina voters filed the lawsuit to the State Board of Elections, claiming that Cawthorn's remarks during his Jan. 6 speech just before the Capitol riot violated the 14th Amendment, which states in part that no one "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."

    Last month, Cawthorn sued for a dismissal, which resulted in the judge's decision Friday. The state election board can still appeal the decision.

    The legal director of Free Speech For People, Rob Fein, who is the co-lead counsel for the voters who are suing, said the decision Friday should be reversed following an appeal.

    "This ruling, by Chief Judge Richard Myers II, a Trump appointee, is wrong on the law and would block the State Board of Elections from determining whether Cawthorn is ineligible under the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause of the US Constitution," Fein said in a statement.

    "The ruling must be reversed on appeal, and the right of voters to bring this challenge to Cawthorn’s eligibility must be preserved."

    In response to the ruling, Cawthorn tweeted, "HUGE VICTORY! The left's lawfare tactics have failed. On to re-election!"

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