Rep. Bill Pascrell asks House leaders not to seat Republicans who backed bid to overturn election


Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., New Jersey Democrat, asked House leaders Friday to block scores of Republicans from serving in Congress because of their backing a court case that sought to overturn the presidential election.

Citing a constitutional amendment barring individuals from being members of Congress if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion,” Mr. Pascrell pointed to 126 House Republicans who recently signed on to support a lawsuit that unsuccessfully sought to overturn the results of the recent election in four states where President Trump was defeated by Democratic rival Joseph R. Biden, the race’s decisive winner.

Mr. Pascrell wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Administration Committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, California Democrats, to suggest they not seat the Republicans when Congress next convenes.

“Stated simply, men and women who would act to tear the United States government apart cannot serve as Members of the Congress,” Mr. Pascrell wrote in the letter to House leaders.

“I call on you to exercise the power of your offices to evaluate steps you can take to address these constitutional violations this Congress and, if possible, refuse to seat in the 117th Congress any Members-elect seeking to make Donald Trump an unelected dictator,” Mr. Pascrell added.

Messages seeking reaction from Mrs. Pelosi and Ms. Lofgren were not immediately returned.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, was led by Texas and supported by 18 other states challenging how the presidential election was held in Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Mr. Biden won those states, among others, accordingly winning more than enough electoral votes needed to become the president and succeed Mr. Trump, who nevertheless has not conceded.

The Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit Friday night. Mr. Biden is set to be inaugurated president on January 20.

Prior to the Supreme Court weighing in, Mr. Pascrell wrote in his letter to House leaders that Republican colleagues supporting the litigation should be found in violation of the 14th Amendment.

“The courageous Reconstruction Congress implanted into our governing document safeguards to cleanse from our government ranks any traitors and others who would seek to destroy the Union,” he wrote.

“Rising from the embers of the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment was written to prevent the destruction of the United States from without and within. The moment we face now may be without parallel since 1860. The fate of our democracy depends on us meeting that moment.”

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