The Supreme Court declined to hear a case brought by John Anthony Castro, a candidate seeking the Republican nomination, to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential election for his role in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. Castro, a Texas tax consultant, had sued Trump earlier this year for running for president and holding the office due to the alleged provision of aid or comfort to convicted criminals and insurrectionists.
The case was denied without any comment or recorded vote. Castro’s appeal was denied after a lower court found he had lacked the legal standing to sue seeking Trump’s disqualification under the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. Legal experts suggest this may not be the final time the Supreme Court is asked to weigh in on whether the provision in the Constitution could or should bar the former president from running for or holding higher office.
Beyond the Confederacy
Legal experts believe that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was designed to remove popular pro-insurrectionists from the ballot, would apply to Trump. Castro believes that he is within the ‘zone’ of interests, as the framers of Section 3 sought to protect him, while Trump is the type of person they sought to disqualify. A federal judge dismissed Castro’s lawsuit in June, stating he had failed to show a legal injury. Castro has appealed to both the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.
More to Come?
Castro, a candidate for the Republican nomination, has not met the necessary requirements to participate in GOP debates. His campaign aims to reduce Trump’s chances of returning to the White House. Although the ruling may impact Casto’s efforts to keep Trump off the ballot, it is unlikely to end the 14th Amendment debate.
Other legal challenges to disqualify Trump based on the 14th Amendment include a lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Free Speech For People, which seek to bar Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot in Colorado.