A federal judge, District Judge Irene Berger, has thwarted an attempt to exclude President Trump from the 2024 Republican primary ballot in West Virginia. The case was brought forward by John Anthony Castro, a relatively unknown Republican candidate, who argued that Trump was ineligible under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. This decision follows a similar move by Colorado’s Supreme Court, which led to the possibility of a U.S. Supreme Court review on the matter.
Judge Berger, in her ruling, emphasized that Castro lacked essential campaign elements such as offices, staff, advertising, and had negligible name recognition among West Virginia Republican primary voters. Additionally, Castro’s minimal campaign funds were deemed insufficient for a viable campaign. The judge pointed out that the evidence indicated Castro’s “campaign” was more geared towards pursuing litigation than garnering votes.
Notably, federal judges in Arizona and Rhode Island had previously deemed Castro unfit for office, emphasizing his lack of seriousness about running for political office. The U.S. Supreme Court had declined to hear Castro’s appeal in Florida back in October. Judge Berger’s decision in West Virginia adds to the legal setbacks faced by Castro in various jurisdictions.
In the West Virginia case attempting to kick President Trump off the ballot, we have prevailed. Strong victory for our Office and the rule of law!— Patrick Morrisey (@MorriseyWV) December 21, 2023
Colorado should learn from the wisdom of our courts!
Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has commended the judge’s decision, emphasizing its significance for election integrity, as reported by News and Sentinel. Morrisey stated, “This is a big win for the integrity of our elections. This lawsuit was frivolous to begin with and without merit – it had no basis in either law or fact. Any eligible candidate has the right to be on the ballot unless legally disqualified, and we will defend the laws of West Virginia and the right of voters and candidates to the fullest.”
The Colorado Supreme Court has temporarily suspended its ruling against Trump until January 4. Should Trump choose to appeal before this date, the ruling will remain on hold, and the Secretary of State will be required to include Trump’s name on the ballot by January 5, unless judicial intervention occurs. The lawsuit against Trump originated from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, adding a layer of complexity to the legal proceedings surrounding Trump’s eligibility for the 2024 Republican primary ballot.