A New Jersey Democrat called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to block Congress from seating 126 Republican lawmakers who signed an amicus brief in support of Texas’ lawsuit seeking to overturn election results in four states.
In a letter to Pelosi, Rep. Bill Pascrell, a frequent partisan critic of President Donald Trump and the GOP cited Sect. 3 of the 14th Amendment, a post-Civil War provision that “disqualifies from service any individuals who seek to attack American democracy, as well as Congress’ power to exclude Members by majority vote as acknowledged” by the Supreme Court in a 1969 case, a statement from Pascrell’s office said.
The provision of the amendment Pascrell is referring to disallows senators and representatives who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the country from service unless two-thirds of the members in each chamber “remove such disability.”
“Stated simply, men and women who would act to tear the United States government apart cannot serve as Members of the Congress,” Pascrell said.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was written after the Civil War to bar from government any traitors who would seek to destroy the Union.
My letter to House leadership today demands that 126 Republicans (and counting) are violating the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/4ti0OU1kpP
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) December 11, 2020
“These lawsuits seeking to obliterate public confidence in our democratic system by invalidating the clear results of the 2020 presidential election undoubtedly attack the text and spirit of the Constitution, which each Member swears to support and defend,” he added.
“Consequently, I call on you to exercise the power of your office to evaluate septs you can take to address these constitutional violations this Congress and, if possible, refuse to seat in the 117th Congress any Members-elect seeking to make Donald Trump an unelected dictator,” the acerbic New Jersey lawmaker continued.
Pascrell, in his letter, also referenced Article I, Sect. 5 of the Constitution which “gives each chamber of Congress ultimate authority to decide its membership,” a power “Congress has always exercised with the utmost care and probity.”
“The courageous Reconstruction Congress implanted into our governing document safeguards to cleanse from our government ranks any traitors and others who would seek to destroy the Union,” Pascrell continued in his letter.
A total of 126 Republican lawmakers signed an amicus brief supporting a lawsuit initially filed by Texas and enjoined by 18 other states challenging election results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
The states contended that changes made to voting rules and procedures ahead of the Nov. 3 election by Democratic state election officials and upheld by Democratic courts were unconstitutional because only legislatures can change voting laws.
As such, the results in all four states — which went for Democrat Joe Biden — are tainted, the suit said. Texas and the other states asked the Supreme Court to toss out the results of those states and direct popularly elected legislatures to choose electors, per the Constitution.
Republicans control all four state legislatures.
But the Supreme Court dismissed the suit out of hand, claiming that Texas lacked standing to bring the suit, though the Constitution says all disputes between states can only go to SCOTUS.
“The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution,” the Supreme Court’s order reads. “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.”
Former GOP Rep. Allen West, who heads up the Texas Republican Party, said following the high court’s ruling that “law-abiding states” might need to consider forming their own “union.”
“The Supreme Court, in tossing the Texas lawsuit that was joined by seventeen states and 106 US congressmen, have decreed that a state can take unconstitutional actions and violate its own election law,” West, a retired U.S. Army officer and combat veteran, said.
“Resulting in damaging effects on other states that abide by the law, while the guilty state suffers no consequences. This decision establishes a precedent that says states can violate the U.S. constitution and not be held accountable,” he added.
“This decision will have far-reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic. Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution,” West said.
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