Arizona Supreme Court won’t boot three Republicans from the ballot

The suit claimed the three politicians were “insurrectionists” and therefore should be disqualified from holding public office

Updated: May 11, 2022 - 7:58pm

The Arizona Supreme Court rejected an attempt to disqualify three Republican politicians from the ballot this year.

The court ruled on Monday that it will not remove Republican Congressmen Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar and state representative Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Hill riot.

“The Candidates are not disqualified from appearing on the ballot for the 2022 primary election,” the court’s decision said.

An organization called Free Speech For People filed the three lawsuits. It claimed that the three politicians were “insurrectionists” and therefore should be disqualified from holding public office under a clause in the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Arizona Supreme Court rejected that claim, explaining that’s not how the law works and that the organization had no legal authority to use this to get candidates tossed from the ballot.

“Congress has not created a civil practice right of action to enforce the Disqualification Clause, and the criminal statute prohibiting rebellion or insurrection, 18 U.S.C. § 2382, does not authorize the challenge by a private citizen,” the court wrote.

The lawsuits against the politicians alleged that they either helped plan the riot or the march that occurred before it to instill violence. The three politicians have denied responsibility for the riot.

Biggs and Gosar are seeking re-election this year. Finchem is running for Secretary of State.