President Trump’s Ballot Disqualification Case Dismissed by Federal Judge with Prejudice

On January 3, a federal judge in California dismissed a lawsuit seeking to prevent former President Donald Trump from participating in the 2024 Republican primary ballot in the state.

District Judge David Carter, in accordance with court documents, granted the motion to dismiss the lawsuit “with prejudice,” signifying that it cannot be refiled in the same court.

One plaintiff argued suffering “emotional injury” due to the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol, claiming severe emotional distress from witnessing the events through various media channels. Their aim was to bar Trump from California’s ballot. However, the judge ruled that the lawsuit exceeded the two-year statute of limitations from the incident, deeming it filed beyond the permissible timeframe.

Judge Carter, appointed by President Clinton and recognized for prior decisions against President Trump in a different case, released his decision online. Former California Republican National Committee Chair Harmeet Dhillon shared the decision.

“The remnants of the last California case to keep President Trump off the ballot here were dismissed today by Judge David O. Carter!!” she wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Jan. 3.

Recent legal battles in various states have sought to bar President Trump from the 2024 election ballot, arguing that his actions amounted to “insurrection or rebellion” under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, crafted post-Civil War.

Successful challenges in Maine and Colorado face speculation of potential reversals by higher courts or the U.S. Supreme Court.

Before Christmas, Colorado’s highest court ruled against Trump’s ballot inclusion, prompting a swift Supreme Court appeal. Simultaneously, Maine’s Secretary of State, Democrat Shenna Bellows, independently excluded Trump from the ballot, triggering an appeal.

Ahead of the Supreme Court appeal, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung criticized the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision, alleging left-leaning interference and claiming it undermined Colorado voters’ rights, framing it as a scheme benefiting Joe Biden.

Legal analysts suggest the U.S. Supreme Court could examine these cases, possibly dismissing them on procedural grounds. However, if the court chooses to delve into the intricate issues tied to the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause, the outcome remains uncertain.

“It seems a certainty that SCOTUS will have to address the merits sooner or later,” Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California–Los Angeles, wrote on his website last month, referring to the Supreme Court.