A Democratic congressman sends a radical, longshot suggestion to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey asks that she punish 126 Republican colleagues, including four Michiganians, who formally backed Texas' rejected assault last week on the presidential election results.
If they believe elections in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia were rigged, Pascrell says, they shouldn't be seated when Congress starts a new term Jan. 3.
Michigan members who signed a Supreme Court legal brief supporting Texas' request to challenge those states' votes are Reps. Jack Bergman of the western Upper Peniunsula, Bill Huizenga of Holland, John Moolenaar of Midland and Tim Walberg of Tecumseh.
"Simply stated, men and women who would act to tear the United States Government apart cannot serve as Members of the Congress," Pascrell writes in a two-page letter to Pelosi and the House Administration Committee chair. "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 the spirit of the Constitution, which each Member swears to support and defend."
Pascrell, who won a 13th term in November, says Republicans endorsing an effort to invalidate certified votes also "violate the rules of our House of Representatives, which explicitly forbid Members from committing unbecoming acts that reflect poorly on our chamber." They "must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms."
All nine justices quickly rebuffed Texas' case Friday night.
On Twitter, Pascrell posts: "The 14th Amendment expressly forbids Members of Congress from engaging in rebellion against the United States. Trying to overturn a democratic election and install a dictator seems like a pretty clear example of that."
On a much smaller scale, there's historic precedent for what Pascrell proposes. Eleven senators and three representatives were expelled in 1861 for supporting Confederate States of America in the South and not acknowledging Abraham Lincoln's election the previous November.
This time, the House speaker is being asked to block 64 percent of the 196 Republicans in the House -- a step too far to imagine.