The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the appeal of a little-known 2024 Republican presidential candidate trying to remove former President Donald Trump from the election ballot.
John Anthony Castro has filed lawsuits in several states claiming Trump is ineligible to hold office under section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars officials who took an oath to the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. He asked the Supreme Court in August to hear his case after a federal district court in Florida dismissed his lawsuit due to lack of standing, a request that the justices have now denied.
Castro argued that without judicial relief, Trump would “siphon off votes” in violation of the 14th Amendment. “Castro will further suffer irreparable competitive injuries if Trump, who is constitutionally ineligible to hold office, is able to attempt to secure votes in primary elections and raise funds,” he argued in his petition. “Trump’s constitutionally unauthorized undertaking will put Castro at both a voter and donor disadvantage.” (RELATED: Trump’s Eligibility For The 2024 Ballot Could Be Headed To The Supreme Court)
Castro told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he is “still pursuing decisions” in the lower courts. “I’m still pursuing decisions in the liberal appellate courts and there’s a full blown trial scheduled for October 20 in New Hampshire,” he told the DCNF. “Another bench trial on the merits in Arizona is scheduled for October 31.”
With lawsuits by other groups pending — including two filed by the left-wing group Free Speech For People in Minnesota and Michigan and one filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) in Colorado — there’s still a possibility of another case challenging Trump’s eligibility making it to the high court.
The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Free Speech For People’s lawsuit Nov. 2.
“If a Secretary of State disqualifies Trump from the ballot, then Trump and his campaign will have standing to sue and if the lower courts rule against Trump, then the case will most certainly end up in the Supreme Court on an appeal,” Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Hans von Spakovsky previously told the DCNF. “For a number of constitutional and procedural reasons, the Court is almost certain to rule in Trump’s favor.”
Election officials in multiple states have said they intend to defer to the courts on the question of removing Trump from the ballot.
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