A Rhode Island federal judge tossed another challenge to former President Donald Trump’s eligibility for the 2024 ballot on Monday.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell Jr., an Obama appointee, dismissed a 14th Amendment challenge to listing Trump on the Rhode Island ballot. John Anthony Castro, a little-known 2024 Republican presidential candidate, filed the lawsuit, along with several more in other states.
The Supreme Court declined in October to hear Castro’s appeal in his case filed in Florida. The First Circuit Court of Appeals found last week that Castro lacked standing to bring his New Hampshire lawsuit.
Castro’s lawsuits allege Trump is ineligible to hold office under section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which restricts officials who took an oath to the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. He argues that he will lose potential voters and support if Trump remains a candidate.
McConnell made his decision in light of the reasons laid out in the First Circuit’s opinion, which found that Castro was not “a direct and current competitor” of Trump at the time of filing his complaint.”Accordingly, it follows that he has not shown that, as of that time, he had satisfied the injury-in fact component of the standing inquiry,” the court ruled.
“The American people have the unassailable right to vote for the candidate of their choosing at the ballot box, something the Democrats and their allies driving these cases clearly disagree with,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement. “President Trump believes the American voters, not the courts, should decide who wins next year’s elections and we urge a swift dismissal of all such remaining bogus ballot challenges.”
Courts have now rejected similar ballot challenges in Colorado, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Michigan. In a case brought by the left-wing donor backed group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a state judge in Colorado ruled Nov. 17 that Trump had “engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021 through incitement” but determined that section three did not apply to him because he is not an “officer of the United States.”
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