A federal judge handily and quickly dismissed a lawsuit filed by left-wing attorneys in an attempt to keep former President Donald Trump off the November 2024 ballot in Florida.
As reported by the Palm Beach Post, U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg, an Obama appointee, ruled that Boynton Beach attorney Lawrence Caplan and two others lacked standing to bring a case arguing that the 14th Amendment prohibited Trump from running for a federal elected office.
“Plaintiffs lack standing to challenge Defendant’s qualifications for seeking the Presidency,” the ruling read, though Rosenberg did not rule on whether the 14th Amendment could be used to keep him off the ballot next year.
She wrote that “the injuries alleged” from the events of Jan. 6, 2021, “are not cognizable and not particular to them” and that “an individual citizen does not have standing to challenge whether another individual is qualified to hold public office.”
The judge also cited court precedent in which individuals were also not able to keep others who were present during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot off of ballots.
Caplan did not comment after the ruling, according to the Post, but did say before it was handed down that the issue of standing would likely be the biggest hurdle. Also, prior to the ruling, Caplan claimed that the Constitution now prohibits Trump from running though he has not been found legally liable for any actions on that day and, in fact, told supporters to “peacefully” march to the Capitol and make their voices heard that they questioned the outcome of the 2020 election, much like Democrats did when Trump won in 2016.
“The 14th Amendment is very clear that you do not need a conviction. You need to be accused, and obviously there has to be a rationale for the accusation,” Caplan said. “I read the amendment, and I re ad the facts of the indictment, and they match very closely.”
The amendment, one of three ratified in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, states: “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.”
At this point, it’s a political word game between opposing sides; Democrats claim what happened on Jan. 6 was an “insurrection,” while Republicans and others have called the incident a “riot.”
There are other state-level efforts to prevent Trump from appearing on the 2024 ballot there, including one led by Republicans in New Hampshire.
GOP Secretary of State David Scanlan said he is consulting with the New Hampshire attorney general, John Formella, also a Republican, to see if it is possible to keep Trump off the ballot under a provision of the 14th Amendment.
“As secretary of state, Scanlan oversees New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary that will take place at the beginning of 2024. However, Scanlan has caught wind of scholars’ recent arguments that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Disqualification Clause prohibits Trump from being on the presidential ballot,” Breitbart News reported.
New Hampshire attorney Bryant “Corky” Messner, whom Trump previously endorsed in New Hampshire’s 2020 U.S. Senate race, appears to be the one who put the issue on Scanlan’s radar.
“I really don’t view myself as turning on Trump, as odd as that sounds,” Messner told ABC News. “I love this country. I’ve served this country. I’ve taken an oath to this country. My sons are serving right now, and I believe someone’s got to step up to defend the Constitution.”