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A federal judge that former President Barack Obama appointed has granted former President Donald Trump another victory over left-leaning groups attempting to prevent him from running for office again in 2016 under a constitutional provision related to an “insurrection.”
Trump, who is currently the heavy favorite to win the GOP nomination next year, has been under siege by several groups and some GOP voters who claim that he fomented the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol Building, an incident they have likened to an “insurrection,” which they say makes him ineligible to hold any elected office under the 14th Amendment.
But so far, none of the efforts have been successful, and on Tuesday, conservative lawyer and Republican Party official Harmeet Dhillon noted on the X platform that an attempt to remove Trump from the ballot in Arizona was turned away by a judge appointed by the 44th president.
“Happy to announce that yet another federal district court, this time in Arizona, has dismissed a challenge to [Donald Trump] being on the ballot for 2024,” Dhillon wrote. “The court made short work of the standing arguments in the case. Congrats to our client & my [Dhillon Law] colleagues, again!”
Happy to announce that yet another federal district court, this time in Arizona, has dismissed a challenge to @realDonaldTrump being on the ballot for 2024. The court made short work of the standing arguments in the case. Congrats to our client & my @dhillonlaw colleagues, again! pic.twitter.com/jIIBRpKfwP
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) December 5, 2023
U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes ruled against the plaintiff, John Anthony Castro, a little-known GOP presidential contender and Texas lawyer who filed similar actions in 27 states.
“His suits have argued that Trump’s position on the ballot in alleged defiance of the 14th Amendment has unfairly impacted the chances of his own campaign. His argument has not yet found success, and his suits have also been dismissed in Florida, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington, D.C.,” Newsweek reported.
Rayes ruled that Castro “is not genuinely competing with Trump for votes or contributions, and therefore is not suffering a concrete competitive injury.”
Meanwhile, the Colorado Supreme Court has heard an appeal of a lower state court’s ruling that found Trump ‘guilty’ of insurrection but failed to remove him from the ballot.
The state high court’s decision comes after Judge Sarah B. Wallace ruled earlier this month that Trump was guilty of engaging in an insurrection but found that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which forbids anyone who engaged in such activity from running for office, does not specifically name the presidency.
“Part of the Court’s decision is its reluctance to embrace an interpretation which would disqualify a presidential candidate without a clear, unmistakable indication that such is the intent of Section Three,” the judge wrote.
“After considering the arguments on both sides, the Court is persuaded that ‘officers of the United States’ did not include the President of the United States,” she said. “It appears to the Court that for whatever reason the drafters of Section Three did not intend to include a person who had only taken the Presidential Oath.”
“If the court rules in favor of plaintiffs, Trump’s name would not appear on either the primary election ballot, nor the general election ballot, in next year’s presidential race,” Truthout reported regarding the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision last week to hear the case.
“Colorado is not necessarily a swing state — Trump lost to President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election by more than 13 points — but the outcome of the case, if Trump is indeed removed, could inspire other states to take similar actions against the former president,” the outlet noted further.
A left-leaning organization in Washington called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics is representing some Republican and independent voters in the state who filed the lawsuit. They claim Trump incited his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021, though he implored them specifically to march “peacefully” to the Capitol to voice their disapproval for certifying the election on behalf of Biden.