A federal judge in Florida has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a lawyer, Lawrence Caplan, who sought to ban former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot on the grounds that he incited an insurrection. The legal basis for this argument was Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which allows public officials engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the country to be disqualified from holding office. However, Judge Robin Rosenberg ruled that Caplan did not have standing to bring the lawsuit.
In her decision, Judge Rosenberg, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, stated that the injuries alleged from the insurrection on Capitol Hill were not particular to Caplan and his co-plaintiffs. She also clarified that individual citizens do not have standing to challenge the qualifications of another individual for public office. The lawsuit did not reach a determination on the applicability of the 14th Amendment in Trump’s case.
The Palm Beach Post reported that the lawsuit, filed just a week ago, raised questions about Trump’s eligibility to appear on the Florida presidential primary ballot for the upcoming election. However, with the dismissal of the case due to lack of standing, the issue remains unresolved.
The dismissal of this lawsuit follows similar conclusions reached by officials in Arizona and New Hampshire regarding Trump’s potential candidacy. Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State, Adrian Fontes, recently confirmed that he does not have the authority to bar Trump from the ballot. Fontes pointed out that the Arizona Supreme Court has determined that there is no statutory process to enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, making it unenforceable in this context. Similarly, New Hampshire’s Republican Attorney General and Secretary of State are carefully reviewing the legal theories surrounding Trump’s eligibility but have not made any determinations thus far.
This dismissal represents a setback for those hoping to prevent Trump from running for president in 2024. However, it is important to note that the ruling does not resolve the larger question of whether Trump incited an insurrection or rebellion against the United States. The decision was based solely on Caplan’s lack of standing to bring the lawsuit.
As Trump and his supporters gear up for the next presidential election, the legal battles over his eligibility are likely to continue. It remains to be seen whether any future lawsuits will gain traction and challenge his ability to appear on the ballot. For now, though, Trump’s path to the 2024 election remains clear.