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Photo: Emil Lippe/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

A group of North Carolina voters filed a legal challenge Monday to disqualify Rep. Madison Cawthorn from running for re-election, citing the Republican lawmaker's involvement in a rally preceding the deadly Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: The legal challenge, filed before the North Carolina State Board of Elections, argues that Cawthorn's speech at the rally, questioning the result of the presidential election, constitutionally bars him from seeking a second term.

  • The voters contend that Cawthorn violated the 14th Amendment, which states that no person, "who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress ... shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion."
  • The challenge also alleges that the North Carolina Republican "urged his followers to threaten and intimidate" members of Congress, adding that he or his staff were also "in close contact with rally organizers."

What they're saying: "The coordinated and violent Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the presidential vote was an insurrection against the United States," Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech For People, said in a statement.

  • "The Constitution disqualifies from public office any elected officials who aided that insurrection," he continued.
  • The "publicly available evidence, including Rep. Cawthorn’s statements and reports that he or his office coordinated with the Jan. 6 organizers, establish reasonable suspicion that Rep. Cawthorn aided the insurrection, thereby disqualifying him from federal office."

"Left-wing activists are trying to stop me from fighting for YOU THE PEOPLE," Cawthorn said in a tweet responding to the legal challenge.

  • "I won't be stopped," he added. "Help me fight back!"

Go deeper

Oath Keepers leader indicted on charges related to Jan. 6

Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

Stewart Rhodes, a founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, has been arrested and charged in connection with events leading up to and including the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Rhodes is the most prominent figure arrested on charges related to the Capitol insurrection.

28 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 59 mins ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.