Former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign has been given a boost after a federal judge dismissed a case seeking to remove the ex-president’s name from the ballot in Rhode Island.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell Jr. on Monday threw out a lawsuit from long-shot Republican Trump challenger John Anthony Castro, according to The Providence Journal. The judge, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, found that Castro had not demonstrated that he is “actually competing with Trump for votes and contributions.”
Monday’s decision follows several other failed legal challenges that were attempting to remove the former president as a 2024 candidate. Similar efforts have been launched and shot down in New Hampshire, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Minnesota.
In response to a request for comment, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung emailed Newsweek a statement touting the former president’s “undefeated” status against the challenges, which Cheung called efforts “to interfere with the presidential election and help the failing campaign of Crooked Joe Biden.”
“Earlier today, a federal judge in Rhode Island dismissed yet another frivolous 14th Amendment challenge to President Trump’s ballot eligibility in 2024,” Cheung said. “President Trump remains undefeated in beating back these spurious claims.”
“The American People have the unassailable right to vote for the candidate of their choosing at the ballot box,” he added. “President Trump believes the American voters, not the courts, should decide who wins next year’s elections and we urge a swift dismissal of all such remaining bogus ballot challenges.”
After Castro’s lawsuit in New Hampshire was dismissed last month, the candidate told The Boston Globe that his legal strategy was “all going as planned.” Castro has filed dozens of 14th Amendment lawsuits against Trump throughout the country, with many of the cases yet to be decided.
In the Colorado case, Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace ruled earlier this month that Trump did engage in an insurrection but found that the 14th Amendment does not apply to presidents.
Former federal prosecutor Harry Litman said during a Sunday interview on Background Briefing with Ian Masters that Wallace’s ruling had provided a “pretty clear path” for Trump to be declared ineligible on appeal.
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“It’s going to go to the Colorado Supreme Court,” said Litman. “There are ways they can reverse her, of course, but it’s so much more tangible and concrete. All they need is to affirm on her factual findings and being engaged in, that’s sort of a First Amendment analysis, an insurrection.”
In the event that the Colorado decision is overruled and then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Litman speculated that the justices would decline to consider whether Trump should be disqualified and conclude that the decision is a matter for Congress instead.
Colin Provost, associate professor of public policy at University College London, previously told Newsweek that it was “difficult to see many judges willing to rule that Trump should be disqualified.”
“There is not much precedent for U.S. judges to make decisions about insurrection or grounds for disqualification from the ballot,” Provost said. “Judges can’t help but be aware of political reality and how a vote to remove would be received.”