West Virginia judge rejects effort to disqualify Trump from running in 2024

 December 23, 2023

A judge has just rejected an effort to keep former President Donald Trump's name off of West Virginia's 2024 ballots. 

Judge Irene Berger of the Southern District Court of West Virginia, according to West Virginia Metro News, did so in a ruling that she published on Thursday. The ruling can be found, in its entirety, here.

Berger, it ought to be noted, is an appointee of former President Barack Obama.

This particular effort to keep Trump's name off of West Virginia's 2024 ballots is being led by John Anthony Castro - a little-known U.S. presidential candidate.

Castro's argument, and its rejection

Like anti-Trump groups in various other states, Castro is attempting to use Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to keep Trump's name off of West Virginia's 2024 ballots.

The basic argument is that Trump took the sort of oath required by the amendment when he became president and that he "engaged in insurrection" on Jan. 6, 2021.

In Castro's case, this argument is somewhat irrelevant because Berger never considered it. Rather, Berger dismissed Castro's lawsuit on the grounds that Castro failed to meet the procedural requirements necessary to bring such a lawsuit.

Castro claimed that he could bring the lawsuit because, as a Republican presidential candidate, Trump's appearance on the 2024 ballots could harm his chances of winning the election. Berger, however, disagreed.

The judge wrote:

The court finds that Mr. Castro’s complaint relies on supposition and speculation that if Mr. Trump were removed from the ballot, that his voters and contributors would default to other candidates including Mr. Castro. But he supplies no specifics to support the conclusion that Trump voters would become Castro voters if his suit was successful.

Castro responds

Castro blasted Berger's decision on social media.

He wrote:

West Virginia Federal Judge Irene Berger declares that I’m running for President "in bad faith" to "manufacture’ standing." So, if I was a corrupt POS running for President to enrich myself and corporate oligarchs, they’d find "good faith." But because I’m running for President based on my principles, they’re saying it’s in "bad faith."

It is unclear whether Castro intends to appeal Berger's decision.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) is celebrating the decision.

He wrote:

This is a big win for the integrity of our elections. This lawsuit was frivolous to begin with and without merit—it had no basis in either law or fact. Any eligible candidate has the right to be on the ballot unless legally disqualified, and we will defend the laws of West Virginia and the right of voters and candidates to the fullest.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.