Landmark Court Decision Ensures Trump's Ballot Presence In New Hampshire Amidst 14th Amendment Challenge

Written By BlabberBuzz | Thursday, 23 November 2023 05:15
Views 1.7K

In a significant development, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has upheld a previous ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, thereby ensuring that former President Donald Trump remains on the ballot in the state.

This decision comes in the wake of an attempt by a relatively unknown Republican presidential candidate, John Anthony Castro, to have Trump removed from the ballot.

Castro's argument hinged on the assertion that Trump had violated the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment. This Civil War-era clause prohibits anyone who has "engaged in an insurrection or rebellion" against the Constitution from holding political office. However, the court found Castro's claims to be unconvincing.

Following the court's decision, Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer and member of the Republican National Committee (RNC), expressed her delight. "SO MUCH WINNING!!!" she exclaimed, "We defeated a challenge to [Trump]'s being on the ballot in New Hampshire, and the First Circuit court of appeals agreed w/trial court and rejected standing."

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The panel of judges, comprising David Barron, Gustavo Gelpi, and Lara Montecalvo, concurred with the lower court's findings. They concluded that Castro had failed to substantiate his claims regarding a supposed violation of the 14th Amendment and the alleged harm he would suffer if Trump remained on the ballot.

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In their ruling, the judges stated, "Castro could not satisfy the causation and redressability elements of standing," because "Trump's absence from the primary ballot would not affect the number of votes or contributions Castro would receive." They further added, "thus we have no reason to address those other components of standing in this case."

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U.S. District Judge Joseph Laplante, in his ruling, had argued that "the vast weight of authority has held that the Constitution commits to Congress and the electors the responsibility of determining matters of presidential candidates' qualifications." He further stated that "Castro provides no reason to deviate from this consistent authority."

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Judge Laplante also noted that Castro's claim, which challenges Trump's eligibility as a presidential candidate under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, "raises a nonjusticiable political question." He added, "As such, even if Castro did have standing to assert his claim, the court would lack jurisdiction to hear it under the political question doctrine."

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David Scanlan, the New Hampshire Secretary of State, who was also named as a defendant in the suit, defended Trump. He argued that Castro's claims were baseless because the 14th Amendment does not apply to those merely running for office.

As it stands, the former president is leading the GOP field in New Hampshire by a substantial margin of 27 points, demonstrating his continued influence within the party.

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