Federal Judge Dismisses Trump Eligibility Challenge in Arizona

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit today challenging former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to appear on Arizona’s presidential primary ballot. 

The decision stems from a lawsuit filed by a little-known Republican presidential candidate, John Anthony Castro. Castro is litigating 16 active lawsuits challenging Trump’s eligibility to run for the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment

Section 3 prohibits the election or appointment of an individual to state or federal office if they previously held such an office, took an oath of office and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the [United States], or [have] given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” Adopted after the Civil War, the amendment precludes any insurrectionist who has served as a member of Congress, state legislator, U.S. military officer or federal or state officer from serving again.

Castro alleged that Trump “provided ‘aid or comfort’ to an insurrection in violation of Section 3 of the [14th] Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and is, therefore, constitutionally ineligible to pursue or hold any public office in the United States.” 

Today, a federal judge found that Castro lacked standing to bring his claim: “Castro is not genuinely competing with Trump for votes or contributions, and therefore is not suffering a concrete competitive injury.”

Trump remains on the presidential primary ballot in Arizona, but he faces similar challenges to his eligibility in 22 active lawsuits across the country. Courts in Colorado, Michigan and Minnesota have ruled that Trump is eligible to appear on each state’s primary ballot. Voters appealed the decisions in Colorado and Michigan. The Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral argument on Trump’s eligibility tomorrow. 

Read the order here. 

Learn more about Section 3 of the 14th Amendment here.