Former President Donald Trump secured another legal victory on Tuesday.
Arizona now joins the ranks of Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, and several other states where attempts to prevent Trump’s name from appearing on the 2024 ballot have been unsuccessful.
The legal challenge aiming to block Trump’s candidacy was initiated by John Castro, a relatively unknown GOP presidential candidate. His petition gained support from progressive Attorneys General in multiple states.
U.S. District Judge Douglas Rayes, appointed by Obama, dismissed Castro’s lawsuit, one of twenty-seven similar suits he has filed. Judge Rayes ruled that Castro’s claims had no merit and accused him of attempting to use the legal system to eliminate a political opponent.
In a scathing rebuke, Judge Rayes emphasized that there was “no evidence” to substantiate the allegations and accused Castro of “attempting to manufacture a competitive injury solely for purposes of pursuing litigation.”
NEW: federal district court dismisses lawsuit seeking to bar Donald Trump from appearing on Arizona's presidential ballot. pic.twitter.com/UNnaaEjhZF— Arizona Election Law (@azelectionlaw) December 5, 2023
The lawsuit alleges that Donald Trump is ineligible to pursue high office based on a provision in the Fourteenth Amendment that disqualifies individuals involved in sedition or insurrection from running for office.
Trump’s legal team has effectively contended that, in the days leading up to the notable protest and breach of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, Trump was expressing legitimate concerns about the integrity of the election—a right protected by the First Amendment.
Furthermore, Trump’s attorneys argued that certain actions taken by prominent Democrats, including then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), served to incite unlawful behavior. They also asserted that the Jan. 6 Select Committee investigating the incident deliberately suppressed information that would have clarified this connection.
Lastly, Trump’s legal defense contended that the Fourteenth Amendment’s clause pertains to 19th-century Civil War-era activities and does not extend to comments or actions made by Donald Trump before, during, or after his presidency.
In the public eye, Trump has garnered sympathy and support, with many perceiving the multitude of legal suits against him as politically motivated. As the leading candidate in the GOP race for the upcoming election, he remains a formidable force.
Arizona Federal Court Dismisses 14th Amendment Ballot Challenge In Total Victory For President Trump— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) December 5, 2023
“Every one of these ‘Castro Cases’ are not only a feeble attempt to interfere with the 2024 presidential election, but they are a huge waste of time for our nation’s judiciary.” pic.twitter.com/P2TcVA128t