As if losing his primary wasn’t enough, an appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, has revived an insurrectionist charge against pro-Trump Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.).
The charge against the already defeated congressman could disqualify him from running for future office because — according to those accusing him — Cawthorn allegedly voiced support for the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol. Some, almost exclusively on the left, have called the riot that day an insurrection.
The court ruled that Cawthorn failed to successfully argue he was immune from a post-Civil War era law that prohibits individuals linked to insurrections from running for office.
As North Carolina’s Asheville Citizen-Times reports:
The three-judge Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled May 24 that a lower federal court erred in its ruling and must revisit the arguments of whether Cawthorn engaged in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The district court had ruled the 14th Amendment disqualification from federal or state office did not apply because of the 1872 Amnesty Act that restored the right to hold office for all but those at the highest level of the Confederate rebellion.
The ramifications for Cawthorn, an ambitious right-wing congressman who is only 26, could be long-running.
Cawthorn recently argued the case was moot because of his May 17 Republican primary loss to state Sen. Chuck Edwards. Because he is no longer currently seeking office, it is likely the district court will dismiss the case, according to Robert Orr, a former North Carolina Supreme Court judge who submitted a brief supporting the plaintiffs.
However, should Cawthorn be found guilty on said charges, he would reportedly be unfit to run for federal office again.