A federal judge in Arizona rejected another case challenging former President Donald Trump’s ability to run for president, delivering a big legal victory for the 2024 favorite.
The action, brought by Republican primary presidential candidate John Anthony Castro, seeks to challenge Trump’s inclusion on Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election ballot.
However, the court, presided over by United States District Judge Douglas L. Rayes, found that Castro lacked the essential standing to pursue his claim, which resulted in the case being dismissed.
The court’s judgment was based on the legal notion of “standing,” which requires a person initiating a lawsuit to demonstrate that they have experienced particular and genuine injury as a result of the conduct they are contesting. The court determined that at the time of filing, the evidence did not prove that Castro was in direct rivalry with Trump or that his presence on the election ballot would directly hurt him.
In addition, the court determined that Castro’s campaign financial disclosures, which were reported with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), could not support his standing claims. According to FEC data, Castro’s campaign received $678.00 in contributions between January 1, 2023 and September 30, 2023, despite having little campaign presence in Arizona.
Castro is a lesser-known politician running as a Republican for President in the 2024 election. He previously ran for the United States House of Representatives in the 6th Congressional District of Texas in 2021.
“The facts as they existed at the time Castro filed his verified complaint do not show that Castro is truly competing with Trump or will be injured in any concrete way by Trump’s appearance on Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election ballot,” the court document said.
Castro has filed 27 federal lawsuits under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution questioning Trump’s eligibility to run. He has also openly threatened Donald Trump with “legal hell” in his efforts to exclude Trump from voting in many states.
The debate about Trump and the 14th Amendment has centered on Section 3 of the amendment. This provision, often known as the “Disqualification Clause,” covers persons’ ability to serve in certain federal posts, including the presidency, depending on their participation in insurrection or revolt against the United States.
The relevant section from Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is as follows:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
In addition to dismissing Castro’s lawsuit, the court reached rulings on many other relevant legal petitions. The third-party suit, filed by the ARP, was rejected since it was no longer relevant. For the same reason, all other pending legal claims were likewise refused. The court directed the Clerk of the Court to close the case, thereby putting a stop to Trump’s legal battle.