Trump Gets Huge Court Victory In Arizona

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

A federal judge in Arizona has rejected the case questioning former President Donald Trump’s qualification to run for president, which is a big legal victory for him. This outcome is particularly important as Trump is currently considered the leading candidate for the 2024 presidential election.

John Anthony Castro, a Republican primary presidential candidate, filed a complaint to challenge Trump’s inclusion on Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election ballot. Nevertheless, Judge Douglas L. Rayes, who presided over the court, determined that Castro did not have the required legal right to file his claim, resulting in the case being dismissed.

The court’s ruling was predicated on the notion of “standing,” a legal doctrine that necessitates a plaintiff to substantiate that they have incurred distinct and tangible injury as a result of the action they are contesting.

Upon examination, the court determined that, at the moment of submission, the available information did not demonstrate that Castro was engaged in direct rivalry with Trump or that he would suffer particular harm as a result of Trump’s inclusion on the election ballot.

In addition, the court determined that Castro’s campaign funding reports, submitted to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), did not substantiate his claims. Based on the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) records, Castro’s campaign disclosed a sum of $678.00 in contributions over the period from January 1, 2023, to September 30, 2023. It is worth noting that the campaign had limited activity in Arizona.

Castro is a relatively obscure individual vying for the Republican nomination in the upcoming 2024 presidential election. In 2021, he ran for election to represent Texas’ 6th District in the U.S. House.

The court document reads, “The facts as they existed at the time Castro filed his verified complaint do not show that Castro is truly competing with Trump or will be injured in any concrete way by Trump’s appearance on Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election ballot.”

Castro had initiated 27 court lawsuits contesting Trump’s qualification to run for office based on the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, he has openly menaced Donald Trump with “legal hell” aiming to have Trump declared ineligible for the election in multiple states.

The discourse regarding Trump and the 14th Amendment predominantly centers around Section 3 of the amendment. This section, commonly known as the “Disqualification Clause,” pertains to the qualifications of individuals to hold specific federal positions, such as the presidency, in relation to their participation in acts of insurrection or rebellion against the United States.

The following excerpt is taken from Section 3 of the 14th Amendment:

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

In addition to dismissing Castro’s complaint, the court also rendered rulings on many other interconnected legal petitions. The complaint lodged by a third party, the ARP, was dismissed on the grounds of its lack of relevance. Subsequent legal requests were likewise rejected on the grounds of the same rationale. The court directed the Clerk of the Court to officially conclude the lawsuit, so terminating this specific legal endeavor against Trump.

Last week, Trump’s legal action seeking to invalidate the gag orders imposed by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron on the grounds of their alleged unconstitutionality was unsuccessful in persuading the appellate court.

The order issued by the Supreme Court of New York, First Appellate Department, was concise and devoid of any rationale. It declined to maintain the temporary suspension of the gag orders:

A petition having been filed with this Court on November 15, 2023, seeking to annul and vacate pursuant to CPLR 7803(2) and (3): (1) orders of the Supreme Court, New York County, entered on or about October 20, 2023 and on or about October 26, 2023 constituting summary findings of contempt against petitioner Donald J. Trump; (2) a “gag order” of the same court and justice entered on the record on or about October 03, 2023, and so-ordered on or about October 26, 2023, and a “supplemental limited gag order” of the same court and justice entered on or about November 03, 2023.

And petitioners having moved to stay enforcement of the aforesaid gag order and supplemental limited gag order pending hearing and determination of the instant petition,

Now, upon reading and filing the papers with respect to the motion, and due deliberation having been had thereon,

It is ordered that the motion is denied; the interim relief granted by order of a Justice of this Court, dated November 16, 2023, is hereby vacated.

Recently, lawyers for Trump restated their stance that the gag orders should continue to be postponed “pending resolution of their Verified Joint Article 78 Petition” against Engoron and New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is resolved.

Trump claimed that Engoron misused his power to suppress expression that is legally permitted and committed blatant infringements of both the U.S. Constitution and New York’s Constitution in the process.

Engoron prohibited the parties involved in the case from verbally criticizing the judge’s court staff, including Engoron’s Principal Law Clerk Allison Greenfield. Additionally, Trump lawyers Christopher Kise, Clifford Robert, and Alina Habba were forbidden from “making any public statements, in or out of court, that refer to any confidential communications, in any form, between [the judge’s] staff and [the judge].”


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