Federal judge dismisses Florida lawsuit seeking to have Trump declared ineligible for presidency

A South Florida federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, arguing that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution applied to Trump because of his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, attempt to overturn the results of the 2022 election. U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg ruled that plaintiff Lawrence Caplan and two other plaintiffs he added to his original lawsuit lacked the legal standing to bring the case.

The court exercises its discretion under the Declaratory Judgment Act and its obligation to examine its own jurisdiction to dismiss the case. Caplan said he had only looked at her opinion very quickly and needed to examine it more closely. He did not plan to appeal Rosenberg’s dismissal, but he did not know if there are other options for filing another case in another jurisdiction. The ruling cited legal precedents giving the court discretion in deciding whether to allow a case to proceed and detailing the requirements for a plaintiff to have legal standing to bring a case.

The plaintiffs allege that they have standing because plaintiff Caplan has actively participated in the last twelve Presidential elections, voted for both Republicans and Democrats, is a Florida resident and United States citizen, is an attorney and member of various courts, and has never been sanctioned. However, an individual citizen does not have standing to challenge whether another individual is qualified to hold public office.

Caplan, who thought he would be challenged by Trump based on standing, amended his complaint to bolster his argument that he had standing. He also added two more plaintiffs: Barry Butin, a Broward lawyer, and Michael Strianese, of Las Vegas.

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