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West Virginia judge dismisses lawsuit to keep Trump off the 2024 ballot

The case filed by John Anthony Castro from Texas, who says he is a presidential candidate.

Published: December 22, 2023 9:17am

A federal judge in West Virginia dismissed a lawsuit brought forward to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot, saying that it lacked standing. 

The case was filed by John Anthony Castro from Texas, who says he is a presidential candidate, according to the West Virginia Record. He reportedly argued that Trump being on the ballot would harm his chances at a 2024 win.

Castro cited the 14th Amendment for Trump not being on the ballot, arguing that the former president engaged in an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021 during the Capitol riot.

U.S. District Judge Irene Berger dismissed the lawsuit on Thursday.

“The plaintiff alleged that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for president and anticipates being on the ballot in West Virginia,” Berger wrote. “His complaint contains few specific factual allegations related to his candidacy...."

“Castro’s complaint relies on supposition and speculation that if Mr. Trump were removed from the ballot, that his voters and contributors would default to other candidates including Mr. Castro," Berger continued. "But he supplies no specifics to support the conclusion that Trump voters would become Castro voters if his suit was successful.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said this ruling was a "big win" for elections in the state. 

“This lawsuit was frivolous to begin with and without merit – it had no basis in either law or fact," Morrisey said, according to The Intelligencer Wheeling News-Register. "Any eligible candidate has the right to be on the ballot unless legally disqualified, and we will defend the laws of West Virginia and the right of voters and candidates to the fullest.”

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