WASHINGTON–Friday Congressman Jim Banks, who represents northeast Indiana in Washington, will face the Indiana Elections Board, on a challenge that he’s not qualified to run for Congress. The accusation is that Banks and other Republicans, participated in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. An Indiana attorney representing one of the representatives who is being challenged says it’s a ludicrous scheme.
“The U.S. Constitution vests exclusively in the U.S. House of Representatives to judge the qualifications of its members,” said attorney Jim Bopp, Jr., of the Bopp Law Firm of Terre Haute, representing not Banks, but Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican from North Carolina, who was facing a similar challenge.
Bopp, in an interview on Tony Katz Today on WIBC, said the challenge that Banks faces is based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which could disqualify a person from serving if they participate in an insurrection or civil war.
“This is a scheme by the Democrats where they’re believing their own rhetoric, that the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, as abhorrent as I believe that was, amounted to a civil war,” he said. “It does not amount to a civil war, nor did these members of Congress engage in it.”
Bopp pointed out that both Banks and Cawthorn were on the floor of the House when the attack happened.
Were the argument to be made that their speech amounted to participation, Bopp said he believes that also is preposterous.
“You have to engage in it. That is not speech,” he said.
Bopp also said that states do not have the right to disqualify a candidate based on whether the candidate may or may not have violated the 14th Amendment.
“That can be challenged when he is re-elected, on the floor of the House of Representatives, when they seat the new Congress,” said Bopp.
He said about 25 members of Congress are facing those challenges, filed by Democratic opponents, seeking to disqualify them and have Democrats win in uncontested races.
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