Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Katherine Pompilio
Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 1:49 PM

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene appealed a ruling by Judge Amy Totenberg of the U.S.United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, who determined that a lawsuit to prevent Greene from running for reelection can move forward, reports NBC News. The lawsuit was filed by a group of Georgia voters who claim that Greene is ineligible to run for reelection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. constitution. Section 3 of the 14th amendment prohibits any individual who "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" from running for federal or state office. The group of Georgia voters claim that Rep. Greene fits this qualification because of her alleged facilitation of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

Members of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol are considering making changes to the Insurrection Act of 1807, reports the New York Times. The Insurrection Act grants the president the authority to deploy the military within the United States during a rebellion. Some members of the committee fear that in the event of another attempted insurrection, a rogue president would use the authority granted by the law to deploy troops to abuse protestors or encourage—rather than put down—an insurrection.

Newly released text messages show that leaders of the Oath Keepers discussed providing security detail for high-profile individuals allegedly involved in former President Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, writes Politico. The group’s founder—Stewart Rhodes—and his top allies texted about providing security for Trump affiliates such as Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Ali Alexander and Michael Flynn on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021. 

Twenty-six Republican governors formed a multi-state initiative called the “American Governors Border Strike Force” intended to secure the country’s southern border, according to the Hill. The initiative is reportedly aimed at improving intelligence sharing abilities between the states to address human smuggling and drug trafficking. Members of the initiative also plan to “keep and eye on cybersecurity issues.” States involved in the initiative include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Ukrainian fighters in the besieged city of Mariupol remain in control of the city’s Azovstal Iron and Steel plant, reports the Washington Post. Azovstal’s underground tunnels serve as shelter for thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and also serves as the final holdout point stopping Russian forces from gaining full control of Mariupol. Russian forces have issued a deadline of 2 p.m. local time on Wednesday for Ukrainian forces at the Azovstal to surrender. Russian Col. Gen. Mikail Minzintsev—nicknamed the “butcher of Mariupol”—said on state media that if Ukrainian troops cease fighting by deadline, they will be “guaranteed life, safety and medical treatment.” At 9:37 a.m. local time on Wednesday, the commander for Ukrainian forces at the Mariupol steel plant issued a statement saying that his soldiers will not “lay down [their] weapons” and surrender. 

The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region reported that cities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine have come under attack by Russian forces, writes the Washington Post. Serhiy Haidai wrote in a post on Telegram, “The enemy continues its attacks in order to advance deep into Popasna [a city between Luhansk and Donetsk,]” and that the situation was “getting more complicated every hour.” Hairai also instructed residents of the area to evacuate and warned that the region will soon run out of humanitarian supplies such as medicine and food, adding “protect yourselves — go to evacuation transport and leave.”

The State Department condemned explosions in Kabul, Afghanistan, that targeted educational facilities, according to the Hill. In a statement, the spokesperson for the department condemned the “heinous attacks” and offered condolences to the families and loved ones of victims killed by the blasts. At least six people—including students—were killed and 17 were injured by explosions inside Abdul Rahim Shaheed High School or near the Mumtaz Education Center.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast which featured a discussion between Alan Rozenshtein and Yascha Mounk about Mounk’s new book “The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure.”

Tom Nachbar argued that the U.S. can prosecute Russian leaders for war crimes under the War Crimes Act. 

Stewart Baker shared an episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast in which he sits down with Dave Aitel, Scott Shapiro and Gus Hurwitz to talk about the use of cyberattacks in the Ukraine war, Elon Musk’s attempt to take over Twitter and more.

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

Katherine Pompilio is an associate editor of Lawfare. She holds a B.A. with honors in political science from Skidmore College.

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