On Monday, a Rhode Island federal judge rejected 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. dismissed a 14th Amendment challenge to listing Trump on the Rhode Island ballot.
The lawsuit was filed by John Anthony Castro, a relatively unknown 2024 Republican presidential candidate, who filed several similar suits in other states. In October, the Supreme Court declined to hear Castro’s appeal in the case he filed in Florida, and the First Circuit Court of Appeals found last week that Castro lacked standing to bring the suit in New Hampshire.
The lawsuits allege that Trump is ineligible to hold office under Section Three of the 14th Amendment, which restricts officials who took an oath to the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. Castro claims that he will lose potential voters and support if Trump remains eligible for candidacy.
McConnell’s decision was based on the opinion of the First Circuit, which found that Castro was not “a direct and current competitor” of Trump at the time of filing the 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.”
Similar ballot challenges have been rejected in Colorado, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Michigan. Among the most recent of these cases took place in Colorado on Nov. 17, when a state judge ruled against left-wing donor-backed group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
The judge argued 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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