Supreme Court Rejects GOP Presidential Candidate’s Lawsuit to Disqualify Trump Over ‘Insurrection’

Evan Poellinger | October 3, 2023
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The Supreme Court has refused to consider Republican presidential candidate John Anthony Castro’s lawsuit seeking to disqualify former President Donald Trump from running in the 2024 election on grounds of insurrection related to January 6. On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that they would not take up Castro’s lawsuit, rejecting it without commenting on the litigation or revealing how the justices had voted on the matter.

Castro, a Texas tax consultant who failed to qualify for any of the presidential debates, initially filed suit in a federal court in Florida, arguing that Trump should be disqualified from appearing on the 2024 ballot under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. This particular section of the U.S. Constitution disallows any person from holding office 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.”

This element of the Fourteenth Amendment was initially crafted to bar legislators who had supported the Confederacy during the Civil War from returning to political office. In his lawsuit, Castro attempted to argue that Trump’s association with January 6, represented grounds for his prohibition from assuming federal office, therefore making him ineligible to participate in the 2024 presidential election. As reported by Reuters, Castro’s lawsuit was dismissed in June due to lack of standing, which prompted his appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Castro is not alone in his attempts to have Trump barred from participating in the 2024 election. Reuters also reports that two similar lawsuits have been filed in Minnesota and Colorado, the latter of which was filed by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and specifically seeks to prevent “Trump from appearing on the presidential ballot in Colorado if he wins the Republican nomination.”