Erica Carlin| OPINION| Things are getting tense for former President Donald Trump as the presidential primaries and general election approach. But a federal judge appointed by former then-President Barack Obama has ruled in Trump’s favor in one case.
Earlier in the week, a Florida attorney filed a challenge to keep the former president of the state’s election ballot citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
Palm Beach tax attorney Lawrence Caplan filed the motion in federal court, The Palm Beach Post reported.
“The bottom line here is that President Trump both engaged in an insurrection and also gave aid and comfort to other individuals who were engaging in such actions, within the clear meaning of those terms as defined in Section Three of the 14th Amendment,” the attorney said. “Assuming that the public record to date is accurate, and we have no evidence to the contrary, Trump is no longer eligible to seek the office of the President of the United States, or of any other state of the Union.”
Obama-appointed federal Judge Robin L. Rosenberg said that the tax attorney did not have standing to bring the case.
“Plaintiffs lack standing to challenge defendant’s qualifications for seeking the presidency, as the injuries alleged are not cognizable and not particular to them,” the judge said.
The former president’s spokesperson responded to the efforts to ABC News.
“Joe Biden, Democrats, and Never Trumpers are scared to death because they see polls showing President Trump winning in the general election,” Steven Chung said to ABC News. “The people who are pursuing this absurd conspiracy theory and political attack on President Trump are stretching the law beyond recognition, much like the political prosecutors in New York, Georgia, and DC. There is no legal basis for this effort … ”
Meanwhile, several state secretaries of state are also having conversations with each other about keeping the former president off the ballots for both the primary and general elections, ABC News reported.
“In an interview with ABC News, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, said that she and other secretaries of state from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Maine started having conversations over a year ago about preparing for the legal challenges to Trump’s candidacy,” the report said.
“I’m talking every day with colleagues about this. We’re all recognizing that our decisions that we make may in some cases be the first but won’t be the last, and there may be multiple decision points throughout the course of the election cycle,” she said. “So, I think the public needs to be prepared for this to be an ongoing issue, that it has several resolution points and evolution points throughout the cycle.”
ABC News added:
Efforts to keep former President Donald Trump off the 2024 ballot under the 14th Amendment are gaining momentum as election officials in key states are preparing for or starting to respond to legal challenges to Trump’s candidacy.
The argument to disqualify Trump from appearing on primary or general election ballots in 2024 boils down to Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which states that an elected official is not eligible to assume public office if that person “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States, or had “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” unless they are granted amnesty by a two-thirds vote of Congress.
Several advocacy groups have said that Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021, fit that criteria — that he directly engaged in an insurrection. The legal theory has been pursued, unsuccessfully, against a few other elected Republicans; arguing their actions around Jan. 6 and support for overturning the 2020 election results amounted to the disqualifying behavior.
Trump has denied any involvement in the attack on the Capitol.