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Federal Judge Rejects Bid to Keep Trump Off the Ballot in Arizona

A federal court in Arizona dismissed a lawsuit that argued former President Donald Trump should be disqualified from appearing on the state’s ballot next year on constitutional grounds.

In a 12-page ruling this week, U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes said little-known presidential candidate John Anthony Castro “lacks standing to bring his claim.” Castro filed the claim in September, arguing that Section 3 of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment disqualifies Trump from holding office because he “gave aid and comfort to insurrectionists on January 6, 2021.”

Rayes disputed that Castro, who has filed similar complaints in other states, would suffer a “competitive injury” if Trump appears on Arizona’s ballot next year.

“Because the injury unpinning competitive standing is the potential loss of an election, however, the plaintiff must genuinely be competing with the allegedly ineligible candidate,” Rayes wrote.

He went on to say that the facts “do not show that Castro is truly competing with Trump,” pointing to Castro’s lack of a campaign presence and contributions.

In response to the court’s ruling, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in statement that the 14th Amendment challenge had been in “bad faith,” arguing that the lawsuits had been “brought forth by a thirsty, Biden-allied troll in a desperate publicity campaign.”

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, named as a defendant in the case, and his office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Efforts to reach Castro were unsuccessful.

Judges in other states, including Colorado, Minnesota and Michigan, have dismissed similar efforts to ban Trump from the ballot on constitutional grounds, though some cases are under appeal.

Source: NBC News