MADISON — The left-led Cancel Culture has ramped up its attempts to silence conservative lawmakers. This time with an “exceptionally weak” lawsuit.
In March, 10 Wisconsin residents, many of them liberal and Democratic Party activists, filed a federal lawsuit against U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh), Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-7th CD), and Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-5th CD) asking the court to disqualify them from holding office.
They’re pushing the Democratic Party’s “insurrection” narrative, claiming the lawmakers they are suing have spread “malicious falsehoods” that helped to fuel the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol because they dared to question the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“Johnson, Tiffany, Fitzgerald, President Trump, and many others identified in this Complaint or still unknown to the public and the Plaintiffs were also engaged in a conspiracy whose illegal objective was to hijack the Joint Session on January 6, 2021 in order to permit the presentation of knowingly false and fraudulent slates of electors to the President of the Senate (Vice President Pence), the Senate, and the House of Representatives,” the lawsuit states.
Some Republicans did object to electoral votes cast for Biden in some closely contested battleground states. Johnson ultimately opted against objecting amid the riots at the Capitol. Tiffany and Fitzgerald did object to counting Biden’s presidential electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania.
The lawsuit hinges on a curious interpretation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, a post-Civil War provision that bars those who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding federal office. They insist the section should apply to the senator and House representatives.
But the complaint almost entirely targets protected speech involving the 2020 election and its aftermath by Johnson, Tiffany, and Fitzgerald, including social media posts and interviews, according to the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL). The Milwaukee-based civil rights law firm this week filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing the lawmakers’ speech is clearly protected under the First Amendment.
Some examples of the speech the liberals want to penalize include:
- “Americans want a transparent process that counts every legally cast ballot.”
- “This is about the integrity of our system. Every legal vote must be counted, credible complaints of fraud and irregularities must be investigated, and legitimate legal challenges must be heard and addressed by our independent judiciary.”
- “I share the concern of my Republican colleagues that we don’t want Congress coming in here and overturning the election or disenfranchising voters. I understand that. But we also can’t just dismiss these legitimate concerns.”
At the time, there were myriad election irregularities and serious questions surrounding the 2020 presidential election. Those questions have only increased following revelations of liberal activists groups funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg embedded in battleground states’ election offices, among other election integrity concerns.
WILL called the case “exceptionally weak.” The lawsuit’s proposed rule that anyone who questions how an election in the United States is run is barred from holding office is “utterly foreign to our constitutional order.”
“This attempt to penalize free speech is not only embarrassing, but dangerous,” said Anthony LoCoco, WILL deputy counsel. “The court should dismiss this lawsuit and send a clear message that American democracy is best protected when we can all speak freely without fear of government sanction.”
Johnson described the lawsuit as “total nonsense.”
”Democrats have ignored the Summer 2020 riots and relentlessly used January 6th as a political cudgel,” he said in a statement.
A similar federal lawsuit filed in North Carolina was dismissed.
The lawsuit is being funded by a liberal super PAC run by Kirk Bangstad, the douchey former Democratic candidate for state Assembly and brewer of beer baring the names of prominent liberals.
Some of the litigation’s claims are similar to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Dane County Circuit Court, one of the most liberal courts in the country. It seeks $2.4 million in damages.
In that case, two Democratic electors and a voter target the 10 Republicans, including then-Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt, for attempting to cast electoral ballots for President Donald Trump after Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner of the battleground state.
The Wisconsin Election Commission unanimously tossed a similar complaint earlier this year because, as the evidence clearly shows, the Republicans were simply trying to preserve their legal options amid pending litigation at the time.
Liberal attorney Jeffrey Mandell, who led the failed complaint before the Elections Commission, represents the plaintiffs in the multi-million dollar lawsuit.