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Rep. Bill Pascrell. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Pascrell wants to block Trump allies in Congress from being sworn in next month

New Jersey congressman cites Fourteenth Amendment that disqualifies those who attack democracy

By David Wildstein, December 11 2020 3:05 pm

A New Jersey congressman who has taken on an increasingly vitriolic position against Republicans trying to invalidate the results of the 2020 presidential election wants to stop 126 GOP House members seeking to delay Joe Biden’s certification from being sworn in as members of Congress in January.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson) cited the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that disqualifies any Member of Congress who seek to attack American democracy.

“Stated simply, men and women who would act to tear the United States government apart cannot serve as Members of the Congress,” Pascrell said in a letter to Democratic congressional leaders. “These lawsuits seeking to obliterate public confidence in our democratic system by invalidating the clear results of the 2020 presidential election undoubtedly attack the text and spirit of the Constitution, which each Member swears to support and defend.”

Pascrell has accused “Trump and other prominent Republicans have commenced a daily assault on the legitimacy of the election that includes filing dozens of frivolous lawsuits seeking to have the results invalidated.

“Tragically, Members of our House of Representatives are supporting and amplifying these attacks on democracy, now culminating in 126 House Republicans joining a malignant lawsuit filed by the state of Texas against the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin,” Pascrell stated. “This suit demands the will of the voters of these states be overturned and the Electoral College votes be stolen and awarded to Donald Trump.”

Pascrell notes that the House has the constitutional authority to be the judge of its own elections.

Pascrell is also seeking to sanction many of his GOP colleagues, including Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis).

“Just as the American people’s clear vote in support of President-elect Biden must be respected, so too must votes cast in favor of our Members-elect,” the North Jersey Democrat said.  “But the actions of any of our colleagues to demolish democracy, regardless of party affiliation, must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms.”

The former high school social studies teacher explained that the Fourteenth Amendment was written  — “rising from the embers of the Civil War” — 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.”

Last month, Pascrell filed legal complaints in five states seeking to disbar former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and 22 other attorneys who have filed lawsuits seeking to change the results of the election.

As a result, five Republican House members introduced a resolution seeking to censure Pascrell.

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