A Florida Southern District Court judge Thursday dismissed a lawsuit seeking to bar former President Donald Trump from the 2024 general election ballot.
Judge Robin Rosenberg ruled Florida attorney Lawrence Caplan and two other individuals lacked legal standing to sue, according to a report from The Palm Beach Post.
Plaintiffs argued in court documents that Trump was ineligible based on language in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment barring individuals who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding public office.
They claimed the former president played a role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot and should, therefore, be disqualified from holding a public office such as president.
The Fort Lauderdale judge, an Obama appointee, ruled against the plaintiffs, explaining they did not possess a “cognizable” injury that would grant them the standing to file the lawsuit.
“Plaintiffs lack standing to challenge Defendant’s qualifications for seeking the Presidency,” Judge Rosenberg ruled.
She added the alleged injuries from the J6 events on Capitol Hill “are not cognizable and not particular to them.”
Furthermore, Rosenberg mentioned that “an individual citizen does not have standing to challenge whether another individual is qualified to hold public office.”
She also referenced two previous court decisions that ruled against plaintiffs who tried to prevent candidates from appearing on the ballot due to their involvement in the Washington, D.C., riot.
The 14th Amendment’s “disqualification” clause has been a topic of discussion among legal scholars who have suggested using it to prevent Trump from running for office.
Clinton administration labor secretary Robert Reich, along with legal scholars William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, are among those advocating using the clause to prevent Trump from becoming president again.
They wrote in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review that Section 3 “disqualifies former President Donald Trump … because of their participation in the attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election.”
Legal scholars J. Michael Luttig and Laurence H. Tribe expressed similar sentiments in The Atlantic.
They noted Trump faces a federal indictment in Washington, D.C., and a state indictment in Fulton County, Georgia, related to his challenges to the 2020 election results.
New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan clarified earlier this week that he has no intention of removing any names from the GOP primary ballot.
His statement came after Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA encouraged his followers to contact Scanlan’s office in response to reports that Scanlan was considering the idea.
Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State, Adrian Fontes, explained Arizona law does not allow the 14th Amendment to be used to exclude Trump from the ballot in the state.
“Now, the Arizona Supreme Court said that because there’s no statutory process in federal law to enforce Section 3 of the 14th amendment, you can’t enforce it,” said Fontes.
“That’s what the Arizona Supreme Court said, so that’s the state of the law in Arizona,” he added. “Now, do I agree with that? No, that’s stupid. What I’m saying is I’m going to follow the law.”
“And the law in Arizona is what the law in Arizona is,” concluded Fontes. “Whether I like it or not, is irrelevant.”
The case is titled Caplan v. Trump, No. 0:23-cv-61628, and was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
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