Is the Donald Trump disqualification question headed to the Supreme Court?: The question of whether the former president should be disqualified from serving is likely to be decided by the courts ultimately. One such lawsuit has already landed in the Supreme Court.
Donald Trump Could Soon Get Some Answers
In recent weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about whether former President Donald Trump might actually be kicked off the ballot in 2024, thanks to a legal theory put forth by a pair of conservative law professors, William Baude and Michael Paulsen.
Officials in a few states have announced that they are looking into the legal implications of the idea.
At the same time, at least two Democratic members of Congress have indicated that they find the argument compelling.
Some liberal nonprofit groups have also taken up the cause of pressuring secretaries of state to take Trump off their ballots.
However, it seems most likely that the issue will ultimately be decided in the courts.
And one lawsuit dealing with the issue has already landed before the U.S. Supreme Court.
But that doesn’t mean the court will agree to hear it – or that this case will end up as the last word on the matter.
The Supreme Court Could Make a Big Call for 2024
According to Newsweek, a lawsuit called John Castro v. Donald Trump has been distributed to the Supreme Court justices for a conference.
The plaintiff in the case, John Castro, is an obscure politician who has filed to run for president as a Republican in the 2024 election.
Per the report, Castro is seeking clarity on “whether political candidates can challenge the eligibility of another candidate of the same party running for the same nomination ‘based on a political competitive injury in the form a diminution of votes.’”
So, the current suit is more about whether Castro can question the eligibility of his opponent rather than the underlying question about Trump’s eligibility.
Castro’s suit, per MassLive, argues that Trump “provided aid or comfort to insurrectionists” on January 6 and, therefore, should be barred from seeking the presidency again.
Castro had filed a lawsuit in Florida in January, also seeking to bar Trump from the ballot, but a court dismissed the suit because “it lacked standing and ripeness.”
Or Are We In Legal Limbo?
Castro’s suit, to be clear, is a long shot, and it’s not clear that the Court will agree to hear his case.
Federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told Newsweek that the court will probably not side with Castro, largely because of all the crimes Trump has been charged with to date, insurrection is not one of them.
“A conviction is not required under the plain language of the Constitution, but it’s telling that even those prosecuting Trump don’t believe that there is enough evidence to convict him or insurrection or sedition,” Rahmani told the publication last month.
The New York Times reported last week that Bryant “Corky” Messner, the former Trump-endorsed Senate candidate who asked New Hampshire’s secretary of state to seek legal guidance on the issue, has said that Castro’s lawsuit is unlikely to succeed, mostly because the filing period has yet to open.
“Section 3 has not been interpreted,” Messner said in an interview with the New York Times last week. “So, my position is let’s find a way for this to get into the court system as soon as possible. And then hopefully we can expedite through the legal system, to get it to the Supreme Court as soon as possible.”
Last Friday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from an attorney named Lawrence Caplan, which had also sought to declare Trump ineligible for the presidency on Fourteenth Amendment grounds.
“Plaintiffs in this case similarly lack standing and, thus, this court lacks jurisdiction. Accordingly, the court exercises its discretion under the Declaratory Judgment Act, along with its obligation to examine its own jurisdiction, to dismiss this case,” U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg wrote in the ruling, per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Author Expertise and Experience:
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.
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