In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a challenge brought forth by John Anthony Castro, a Republican presidential candidate and tax consultant who had been running unsuccessfully for several political offices.
The challenge aimed to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot due to his alleged involvement in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. This comes after Fulton County, Georgia’s newly elected Democratic District Attorney Fani Willis had filed charges against Trump, as reported by Newsweek.
“A primary candidate has judicial standing to bring a claim challenging the eligibility of a fellow primary candidate for competitive injury in the form of a diminution of votes and/or fundraising if the primary candidate believes that the fellow primary candidate is ineligible to hold public office and to prevent actions irreconcilable with the U.S. Constitution,” Castro wrote.
Castro’s legal argument hinged on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, a Civil War-era provision initially used to bar former members of the Confederacy from holding office.
“The January 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol was an insurrection within the meaning of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Donald J. Trump provided aid or comfort to the insurrectionists in the form of words of encouragement and expressions of support springing from a want of sympathy with the insurrectionary attack on the United States Capitol. As such, Donald J. Trump is constitutionally ineligible to hold any public office in the United States of America,” according to Castro.
The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case, which was denied without any comment or recorded vote according to CNN, effectively shuts down this avenue of attack against the former President, who is a frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024.
Critics have labeled Section 3 as a “fringe legal theory,” but similar lawsuits have been filed in Colorado, Minnesota and Michigan by both liberal and conservative organizations as well as individual voters.
In response to news that Fulton County, Georgia’s newly elected Democratic District Attorney Fani Willis had filed charges against Trump, Newsweek reported Elie Honig’s comments on the situation.
Last month, six Republicans and unaffiliated Colorado voters including former state and federal officials filed a lawsuit seeking to disqualify former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state’s 2024 presidential ballot.
The case contends that Trump violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits individuals who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States from holding federal office.
In response, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold labeled former President Trump a “liar”, following his assertion that the effort to keep him off the ballot constituted election interference.
Additionally, a group of Minnesota voters also sued to remove Trump from the 2024 ballot. Elie Honig reacted to news that Fani Willis, Fulton County’s newly elected Democratic District Attorney had charged Trump with criminal charges; Newsweek reported this information.
“Donald J. Trump, through his words and actions, after swearing an oath as an officer of the United States to support the Constitution, engaged in insurrection or rebellion, or gave aid and comfort to its enemies, as defined by Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment,” according to the suit.
On Friday, a far-left organization filed a lawsuit to disqualify former President Trump from appearing on Michigan’s 2024 ballot, asserting that he violated the 14th Amendment and should therefore be prohibited from partaking in the upcoming election.
“Donald Trump violated his oath of office and incited a violent insurrection that attacked the U.S. Capitol, threatened the assassination of the vice president and congressional leaders, and disrupted the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in our nation’s history,” Free Speech for People legal director Ron Fein said in a statement.
We've filed a lawsuit in Michigan challenging Donald Trump's candidacy under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
— FreeSpeechForPeople (@FSFP) September 29, 2023