A federal judge in California, District Judge David Carter, recently dismissed a lawsuit to prevent former President Donald Trump from appearing on the 2024 Republican primary ballot in the state.
The judge granted a motion to dismiss the lawsuit “with prejudice,” making it ineligible for resubmission to the same court.
Legal landscape: Challenges across states
The plaintiff argued “emotional injury” resulting from the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.
However, Judge Carter ruled that the events occurred beyond the two-year statute of limitations.
In recent days, various lawsuits in different states have sought to bar President Trump from the 2024 ballot, invoking the 14th Amendment’s Section 3, alleging “insurrection or rebellion” in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War.
Challenges in Colorado and Maine: Trump’s response
Maine and Colorado have seen some success, but speculation abounds regarding potential higher court reversals, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Colorado’s highest court ruled against Trump before Christmas, a decision promptly appealed to the Supreme Court. In Maine, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, decided to exclude Trump from the ballot, also facing an appeal.
Trump’s campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung, criticized the decisions, accusing the Colorado Supreme Court of supporting a left-wing group’s scheme.
U.S. Supreme Court’s role: Uncertainties and expectations
Legal analysts anticipate the U.S. Supreme Court’s involvement in these cases, predicting potential procedural rulings against the plaintiffs.
However, uncertainties remain, especially regarding the more complex questions tied to the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause.
Law professor Rick Hasen suggests it’s inevitable for the Supreme Court to address the merits sooner or later.
California’s inclusion and political responses
California Secretary of State Shirley Weber initially included Trump on the state’s primary ballot. Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis urged legal exploration to remove Trump, citing constitutional eligibility requirements.
However, Governor Gavin Newsom dismissed these challenges as a “political distraction,” emphasizing defeating candidates at the polls.
Nationwide legal landscape: Trump’s victories and campaign’s response
Federal judges nationwide have dismissed attempts to block Trump from appearing on ballots. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Virginia cited a lack of standing for plaintiffs, echoing similar decisions in West Virginia, New Hampshire, Florida, Arizona, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Michigan.
The Trump campaign welcomed these dismissals.
In the evolving legal saga surrounding Trump’s potential 2024 run, each decision contributes to the larger narrative of constitutional interpretation and the complex intersection of law and politics.