Federal Judge Dismisses Attempt to Bar Trump from Ballot in New Mexico

Federal Judge Dismisses Attempt to Bar Trump from Ballot in New Mexico

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An attempt to block President Trump from appearing on the 2024 presidential primary ballot on 14th Amendment grounds in New Mexico has been dismissed.

A federal judge has dismissed an attempt to bar former President Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential primary ballot in New Mexico, the latest 14th Amendment effort to fail.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Garcia dismissed the case in a Jan. 12 judgment in a lawsuit filed by 2024 Republican presidential candidate John Anthony Castro that seeks to block the 45th president from appearing on the New Mexico ballot on grounds that he engaged in an “insurrection.”
Mr. Castro’s lawsuit in New Mexico was one of many he filed in other states, with Judge Garcia noting in an opinion that, along with the latest dismissal, “thus far, Castro’s efforts have not proven fruitful.”

“District courts across the country have—without exception—dismissed nearly identical suits filed by Castro for lack of standing,” he added.

Mr. Castro has already filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.
Other similar lawsuits seeking to bar President Trump from the ballot on 14th Amendment grounds have also failed, including one in Michigan and another brought in Nevada by Mr. Castro, who incidentally was charged last week with 33 counts of aiding the preparation of false tax returns.

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“President Trump remains undefeated against bogus 14th Amendment claims in federal court, with today’s dismissal in New Mexico being the latest victory against these attacks on Democracy,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.

“Similar cases in over a dozen other states have now been dismissed, as fair-ruling courts have seen through the Democrat election interference schemes,” Mr. Cheung said. “Throughout the country, allies of failed president Crooked Joe Biden are attempting to steal the election for him and deprive voters of their constitutional right to vote for the candidate of their choice.”

Also on Friday, the Oregon Supreme Court declined to hear a 14th Amendment-related case to block the former president from the ballot in that state, saying it will wait for a U.S. Supreme Court decision before taking any action.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted a petition for immediate review of a Colorado Supreme Court decision—which remains frozen pending appeal—to block President Trump from the ballot in that state.

14th Amendment and ‘Insurrection’

More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed in 2023 seeking to block President Trump from the ballot under interpretations of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment—and end the former president’s 2024 comeback bid.

President Trump is currently the frontrunner by far in his bid for the Republican nomination, with 61.1 percent support, according to the latest RealClearPolitics polling average.
Section 3 of the amendment prohibits anyone who has participated in “rebellions” or “insurrections” from holding office unless they have a two-thirds vote of exemption from Congress.

President Trump held a rally near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, in which he made statements encouraging his supporters to march to the Capitol, where Congress was in the process of certifying the results of the presidential election.

While President Trump called for the day’s events to be peaceful, a group of people breached the Capitol, leading to a violent confrontation with law enforcement.

President Donald Trump at the Save America rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Lisa Fan/The Epoch Times)
President Donald Trump at the Save America rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Lisa Fan/The Epoch Times)

The events of that day have been the subject of widespread scrutiny and debate, with President Trump’s political opponents accusing him of inciting an “insurrection.”

The “insurrection” allegations underpin the 14th Amendment-based legal efforts to block President Trump from the ballot in various states on the claim that he was an instigator of the Jan. 6 incident—which the lawsuits label as an “insurrection”—by giving an impassioned speech not long before the Capitol breach occurred.

President Trump has repeatedly denied instigating any “insurrection” and has instead labeled President Joe Biden as an “insurrectionist” for his “open” border policy while accusing him of “destroying” America with radical anti-fossil fuel policies.
For his part, President Biden has said it’s “self-evident” that the former president “supported an insurrection.”

Other Developments

The Oregon Supreme Court ruled on Dec. 19 in a 4–3 decision that President Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s primary ballot, making Colorado the first and only state to do so.

President Trump’s attorneys appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, with the Colorado decision on hold pending the appeal.

The U.S. Supreme Court said last week that it would review the Colorado decision, with justices set to hear arguments on Feb. 8.

“We welcome a fair hearing at the Supreme Court to argue against the bad-faith, election-interfering, voter-suppressing, Democrat-backed and Biden-led, 14th Amendment abusing decision to remove President Trump’s name from the 2024 ballot in the state of Colorado,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement.

Elsewhere, the Oregon Supreme Court on Friday declined to hear a 14th Amendment bid to bar President Trump from the ballot.

Maine is another state where efforts are underway to block the former president from appearing on the ballot. Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows ruled unilaterally in December that “Mr. Trump’s primary petition is invalid,” while citing the 14th Amendment as the reason he’s “not qualified” to hold the office of U.S. president.

However, like the Colorado Supreme Court decision, Ms. Bellows’s ruling in Maine has also been put on hold until the appeals process plays out.

President Trump’s campaign condemned the decision and called Ms. Bellows a “virulent leftist and a hyper-partisan Biden-supporting Democrat.”

For her part, Ms. Bellows has stood by her decision, though she’s indicated deference to the appeals process—and complained that she’s received threats.

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