On July 25, Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County, Georgia Superior Court issued a decision upholding Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s earlier decision to allow Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to appear on the ballot. A group of Georgia voters, represented by a legal team led by Free Speech For People, had challenged Greene’s candidacy under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause. The evidence presented at the April 22 trial before Administrative Law Judge Charles Beaudrot included statements by Greene, including (1) she told her followers on video that “You can’t allow [Congress] to just transfer power peacefully like Joe Biden wants and allow him to become our President,” and (2) on the evening of January 5, around the same time that extremists like Ali Alexander and Alex Jones were telling crowds of Oath Keepers, Proud Boys (whose written plan for insurrection was entitled “1776 Returns”) and other violent extremists that “1776 is always an option” and leading chants of “1776! 1776! 1776!,” Greene told her followers that January 6 would be “our 1776 moment.” 

The challengers’ appeal to the Superior Court raised four legal errors by Administrative Law Judge Beaudrot: (1) he improperly shifted the burden of establishing qualification for office from the candidate (where it lies according to Georgia Supreme Court precedent) to the voters; (2) he improperly quashed the challengers’ notice to produce documents; (3) he improperly discounted all of Greene’s pre-January 3, 2021 conduct, including her statement that “You can’t allow [Congress] to just transfer power peacefully like Joe Biden wants and allow him to become our President”; and (4) while he initially recited the correct legal standard for “engaging” in insurrection, he later applied an incorrect standard that would have required “months of planning and plotting.”

Judge Brasher’s short (six-page, double-spaced) decision rejected the appeal with minimal legal analysis, largely simply stating that the administrative law judge’s legal decisions were within his discretion. Judge Brasher declined to decide any of Greene’s counterclaims, such as that the events of January 6 were not an insurrection, or that the candidate challenge process was unconstitutional. In essence, his opinion affirms the administrative law judge’s opinion without adding or changing anything.

No decision has yet been made as to whether to file a further appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court. 

Read Judge Brasher’s ruling here

Read our opening brief on appeal and our reply brief.