Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) will remain on the 2022 midterm ballot, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday afternoon.
“Today, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed that, in Arizona, conservatives have free speech too and cannot be punished on a trumped-up claim of ‘insurrection’ absent a criminal conviction and due process,” Gosar’s attorney Alexander Kolodin exclusively told Breitbart News. “It was an honor to represent Congressman Gosar to vindicate this important principle.”
The lawsuit sought to disqualify Gosar based on section three of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution enacted after the Civil War. The action alleged Gosar was ineligible for the November ballot because he violated the Disqualification Clause in the Fourteen Amendment by participating in the January 6 incident, which the media dubbed an “insurrection.”
The suit was originally tossed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury in April. It was then appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court.
On Monday, Arizona Supreme Court Justice Robert Brutinel ruled against the emergency appeal based on procedural grounds. Justice Brutinel agreed with the lower court’s ruling the said the plaintiffs improperly argued that private citizens can challenge a candidate’s ballot qualification, which is “not the proper proceeding to initiate a Disqualification Clause challenge.” That right is left up to congressional authority:
“Qualifications of its own Members,” appears to vest Congress with exclusive authority to determine whether to enforce the Disqualification Clause against its prospective members. However, we need not decide these issues because we hold that A.R.S. § 16-351(B), which authorizes an elector to challenge a candidate “for any reason relating to qualifications for the office sought as prescribed by law, including age, residency, professional requirements or failure to fully pay fines . . . ,” is not the proper proceeding to initiate a Disqualification Clause challenge. By its terms, the statute’s scope is limited to challenges based upon “qualifications . . . as prescribed by law,” and does not include the Disqualification Clause, a legal proscription from holding office.
Gosar’s attorney told Breitbart News the lawsuit was brought with “Orwellian irony,” pointing out the group that brought the action is named, “Free Speech for People.” The lawsuit sought to disqualify Gosar based on limiting free speech, Kolodin asserted.
Gosar is known as a freedom fighter and one of the most MAGA members of Congress. First elected in 2010, he is the former chairman of the Freedom Caucus and possesses 100 percent rating with the National Right to Life Committee, among other conservative organizations. In 2017, House Democrats voted to remove Gosar from committees due to an animated cartoon his office posted.
The court case is Thomas Hasen v. Mark Finchem, No. cv-22-0099 in the Arizona Supreme Court.