Democrats want over 130 Republicans banned from holding office

More than 130 Republicans have faced challenges to their eligibility to serve in office based on their alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in recent years.

Donald Trump has said the 2020 election was stolen from him because of widespread voter fraud, despite a lack of evidence. Critics say these allegations culminated in a number of failed attempts to block Joe Biden‘s victory—including the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, when Trump supporters violently stormed the building to try to block Congress from certifying Biden’s Electoral College win.

Critics also say those involved in the riot should be barred from holding office, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. It states that those who took an oath to defend the Constitution and went on to engage in “insurrection or rebellion” should not be permitted to hold “any office, civil or military, under the United States.”

Since the 2020 election, at least 134 Republicans, including Trump, have faced legal challenges questioning whether they are qualified to hold office. None of these challenges have been successful.

Newsweek reached out to the Republican National Committee for comment via email.

Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on September 3, 2022. Trump is among the more than 130 Republicans who have faced ballot challenges since the 2020 election.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Most famously, Trump has faced challenges to his presence on ballots in upcoming primaries. Lawsuits have been filed in more than 30 states arguing he should not appear on the 2024 ballot. Two states, Colorado and Maine, have decided to bar him from the ballot. However, he will remain on Colorado’s ballot pending a ruling from the Supreme Court, and he has also appealed the Maine decision.

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Most of the challenges to Republicans originated before the January 6 riot, when Representative Bill Pascrell, a New Jersey Democrat, urged former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to not seat 126 GOP members of Congress who signed onto a lawsuit challenging the electoral votes in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden won those four battleground states narrowly won in 2020.

“Stated simply, men and women who would act to tear the United States government apart cannot serve as Members of the Congress,” Pascrell wrote in a letter to Pelosi.

He continued: “These lawsuits seeking to obliterate public confidence in our democratic system by invalidating the clear results of the 2020 presidential election attack the text and spirit of the Constitution, which each Member swears to support and defend, as well as violate the Rules of our House of Representatives, which explicitly forbid Members from committing unbecoming acts that reflect poorly on our chamber.”

Two other GOP members of Congress, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and former Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, have also faced challenges based on the 14th Amendment.

In March 2022, a federal judge rejected a challenge to Cawthorn’s candidacy. He went on to lose the Republican nomination. Meanwhile, a judge ruled in May 2022 that Greene was eligible to remain on the ballot.

Midterm Candidates Faced Ballot Challenges

Several Republican candidates in the 2022 midterm elections faced similar challenges. Arizona secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem faced a disqualification suit from the organization Free Speech for People.

Meanwhile, former Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano faced a challenge from Pennsylvania resident Jeffrey Hill. The lawsuit was based on allegations that Mastriano chartered buses to Washington, D.C., ahead of the January 6 riot, was photographed at the Capitol and joined a delegation of Republicans who met with Trump to discuss overturning the election.

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These challenges were also unsuccessful, and both candidates went on to lose their elections last November.

A separate challenge based on the 14th Amendment was filed against Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, as well as Representatives Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Tiffany, who are both from Wisconsin. The lawsuit said the congressmen’s public statements leading up to the Capitol riot spread “malicious falsehoods about a ‘rigged election.'”

Tiffany was also on the list of Republicans whom Pascrell sent to Pelosi in his letter urging her not to seat them.

Alaska state Representative David Eastman faced a lawsuit against his candidacy based on the state Constitution’s “disloyalty clause,” which bars anyone from state office who “aids or belongs to any party or organization or association which advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the United States.”

The lawsuit challenged Eastman’s eligibility based on his alleged membership in the Oath Keepers, a right-wing group whose members were involved in the January 6 assault on the Capitol.