Today, in an unsigned order without written opinion, the Georgia Supreme Court denied Free Speech For People’s appeal of the decision in the challenge to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s candidacy under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Importantly, this appeal did not involve any important federal constitutional issues. The appeal focused entirely on questions of Georgia state law: whether the administrative law judge improperly quashed the Notice to Produce (document discovery request) that the challengers served on Greene before the hearing, while simultaneously reassigning the burden of proof to the challengers. 

That is important because the administrative law judge ruled in challengers’ favor on several important legal questions, and his decision stands. In particular, the administrative law judge:

  • Agreed with challengers that the legal test for whether someone has “engaged” in insurrection (the Worthy-Powell standard) is whether they voluntarily aided the insurrection by personal service or contributed anything that was useful to it.
  • Agreed with challengers that Section 3 disqualification does not require a prior criminal conviction.
  • Agreed with challengers that speech can be part of engaging in insurrection, including “marching orders or instructions to capture a particular objective, or to disrupt or obstruct a particular government proceeding.”

Furthermore, the administrative law judge, and Secretary of State Raffensperger, did not accept Greene’s arguments that, under current law, state officials cannot determine whether a candidate (for Congress or otherwise) is disqualified under Section 3. 

Today’s Georgia Supreme Court ruling leaves all that in place. While we’re disappointed that this challenge against Greene has drawn to a close, our challenge has left the law of Section 3 in a better place than we found it, and we will remain vigilant against other constitutionally disqualified insurrectionists–including Donald Trump–who may seek to run for office in the future.