The lawsuit mirrors similar challenges to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s appearance on several states’ primary ballots.
Insurrectionists cannot hold office
A former Pennsylvania congressional candidate recently filed a lawsuit to remove Republican Representative Scott Perry from the state’s primary ballot, arguing that Perry is ineligible because of his role in challenging the transfer of power in 2020 to President Joe Biden.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment
The seven-page suit asks Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court to remove Perry from the ballot for engaging in insurrectionist activity. Gene Stilp filed the lawsuit as a voter in the Representative’s 10th District and calls on Secretary of State Al Schmidt to invoke the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause.
Trump’s election troubles
Stilp’s lawsuit mimics challenges to former President Trump’s 2024 candidacy in several states, including Colorado, where the Supreme Court recently removed Trump from its ballot.
Center of attention
The Colorado case is likely to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately. The former president’s legal troubles have defined the 2024 presidential election.
Handing over his messages
Last summer, a federal judge ordered Perry to turn in over 1,600 texts and emails to FBI agents investigating efforts to keep former president Trump in office after the 2020 election result and illegally block the transfer of power to Joe Biden.
Perry is seeking another term
Republican Perry is expected to run for his seventh term, but candidates cannot yet file paperwork to qualify for Pennsylvania’s April 23 primary ballot.
Democrat Stilp unsuccessfully challenged former Republican Representative Lou Barletta in 2012 and is known for his public advocacy campaigns. In 2005, he used a large inflatable pig to protest state legislators’ wage increases.
A campaign spokesperson for Perry dismissed the lawsuit as frivolous, “filed by a fringe activist whose claim to fame is an inflatable pink pig.”
Perry focused on delivering for Pennsylvania
“Congressman Perry is focused on critical problems facing south-central Pennsylvania and our nation, which is why he’s travelling with the speaker of the house today to examine the ongoing crisis at our Southern border,” campaign spokesman Matt Beynon stated.
Attempts to subvert democracy
The filing cites Republican Perry’s role in attempting to use the Department of Justice to help Trump stall the election certification by installing an acting attorney general who would have been sympathetic to Trump’s false election fraud claims.
Plea to prosecute criminal activity
The suit also asks for a referral of “information of any possible criminal activity by Scott Perry or any other party discovered in this case to the Pennsylvania attorney general for prosecution.”
Trump to the rescue
Perry’s lawyer, John P. Rowley, said in a statement that Trump’s expected appeals of his removal from the Colorado and Maine state ballots would nullify the lawsuit against Perry.
“This lawsuit was filed by a partisan activist who clearly has no regard or understanding of how our Democratic Republic works,” Rowley wrote in his statement. “It is but the latest effort by an extremist to disqualify a duly elected official with whom he disagrees. We are confident the Supreme Court will put an end to this lunacy.”
One of a kind
While Perry has not been charged with a crime, he is the only sitting member of Congress to have a cellphone seized by the FBI in their 2020 election interference investigation.