Supreme Court case could keep Trump off ballot in 2024

 September 16, 2023

If the Supreme Court decides to hear a case against former President Donald Trump, it could determine whether he gets to be on the ballot of all 50 states in 2024. 

Long-shot Republican candidate John Castro brought the suit against Trump, claiming that the events of January 6, 2021's Capitol breach mean that according to the 14th Amendment, Trump is prohibited from running for president.

The 14th Amendment blocks individuals from holding public office if they have "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the United States.

Even though Trump has not been charged with insurrection, Castro argues that the charges against him for attempting to overturn the 2020 election and his so-called involvement in January 6 constitutes it.

Nationwide permanent injunction

The Supreme Court will make a decision on whether to hear the case by October 9.

"If SCOTUS [the Supreme Court] rules in my favor, his name cannot appear on the ballot in *any* state because the Constitution's election clause giving states power over elections only applies to congressional races," Castro told Newsweek. "It would be a nationwide permanent injunction against all state election officials to keep his name off the ballots and not count any of his write-in votes."

Castro has filed lawsuits in 14 states including Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. He intends to file in even more, including Massachusetts and other blue states.

"Unfortunately, it's all or nothing," Castro said. "SCOTUS is the only body that can give a final answer as to all 50 states."

Even one state keeping Trump off the ballot could result in his electoral loss, however.

Without merit

Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung argues that the case was without merit, however.

"The people who are pursuing this absurd conspiracy theory and political attack on President Trump are stretching the law beyond recognition, much like the political prosecutors in New York, Georgia and D.C.," he said when the lawsuits were filed.

"There is no legal basis for this effort except in the minds of those who are pushing it," he added.

The Supreme Court will risk being seen as political operatives if they agree to hear the case or if they rule against Trump, who is now the frontrunner for the GOP nomination nationally and in the early primary states.

The path to proving him guilty of insurrection will be a difficult one, and the Supreme Court seems unlikely to rule against him without that proof.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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