Here’s Where Cases to Kick Trump Off the Ballot Were Filed

Catherine Yang
By Catherine Yang
November 17, 20232024 Elections
Here’s Where Cases to Kick Trump Off the Ballot Were Filed
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a campaign event in Claremont, N.H., on Nov. 11, 2023. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

As the 2024 primaries approach, civil cases arguing that former President Donald Trump cannot appear on state ballots under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment are moving through the courts—and thus far rejected one by one.

The 14th Amendment was ratified after the Civil War, and Section 3 was added to prevent former U.S. military officers, federal officers, and state officials who left their posts to join the Confederacy from retaking office. It stipulates that those who had engaged in “insurrections” or “rebellions” could not hold office unless they received a two-thirds vote from Congress of their eligibility.

After the Capitol breach events of Jan. 6, 2021, activists began circulating the legal theory that this applied to President Trump and should bar him from running for reelection. This year, petitions to that effect were filed across the country, with some being declined by courts, heard, or still pending. This includes multiple lawsuits being filed in the same state from different petitioners or with different legal arguments.

Rulings Against Petitioners

Recently, courts in three states ruled on these challenges, rejecting petitioners’ arguments differently in each decision, but each ultimately allowing President Trump to appear on the primary ballots in Minnesota, Michigan, and Colorado.

In Colorado, a judge had ruled that Section 3 did not apply to U.S. presidents but wrote in a lengthy opinion echoing the January 6 Select Committee report that the former president engaged in an “insurrection.”

In Michigan, a judge ruled that the petitioners had no grounds to obtain the relief they requested, that Congress had jurisdiction over this matter, and that it was a political question, not for the courts.

In Minnesota, a panel of judges ruled that primary elections are a political party matter and not the jurisdiction of the secretary of state.

Before that, a federal judge in Florida was the first to reject a case, writing that she had no jurisdiction over the matter.

A New Hampshire court also dismissed a case, ruling that it was a political question and not one for the courts.

Attorneys, judges, and legal scholars have said they do not expect state rulings to be the last word, predicting appeals all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In most cases, petitioners who lost cases have already indicated they will appeal the decision.

In Minnesota, petitioners were told the ruling would not preclude them from bringing the case forth again during the general elections.

31 Cases in 26 States

The Lawfare online outlet has created a tracker of these cases, which shows that 31 cases have been filed in 26 states.

The states are: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

This includes two cases in Florida, three in Michigan, which the judge had ruled on together, and two in New York.

However, several of these cases were brought by John Anthony Castro, who has since dropped his lawsuits in Idaho, Utah, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Maine, according to the tracker. Mr. Castro is a little-known Republican candidate who brought 27 federal lawsuits challenging President Trump’s right to appear on the primary ballots and had appealed the New Hampshire ruling against him.

The remaining states with pending cases that have not received any ruling are: Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Montana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Several of these are Mr. Castro’s cases and do not have any hearings scheduled.

From The Epoch Times

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