Former President Donald Trump chalked up another legal win on Tuesday.
Arizona now joins Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York and several other states in losing bids to keep Trump’s name from appearing on the 2024 ballot.
The legal suit to thwart Trump’s candidacy originated from John Castro, a relatively unknown GOP presidential candidate. His petition was championed by progressive attorneys general in multiple states.
U.S. District Judge Douglas Rayes, an Obama appointee, ruled that Castro’s suit, which is one of 27 similar suits he has filed, had no merit and that Castro had brought forward the litigation to eliminate a political opponent.
In a sharp rebuke, Rayes stated there was “no evidence” to support the charges and that Castro was “attempting to manufacture a competitive injury solely for purposes of pursuing litigation.”
The suit charges Trump is ineligible to run for high office due to a clause in the 14th Amendment that prohibits individuals who participate in sedition or insurrection from running for office.
Trump’s legal team has successfully argued that in the days leading up to the infamous Jan. 6, 2021, protest and breach of the Capitol, Trump expressed his concerns regarding the integrity of the election — a right protected by the First Amendment.
Trump’s attorneys further argued that actions taken by key Democrats, including then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), incited illegal behavior and that the Jan. 6 Select Committee investigating the matter suppressed information that made this clear.
Finally, Trump’s attorneys argued that the clause in the 14th Amendment applies to 19th century Civil War-era activity and does not characterize comments or actions made by Donald Trump before, during or after his presidency.
Trump has garnered public sympathy and support as many view the wave of legal suits brought against him are politically driven. He is the strong front-runner in the GOP runup to the election.
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