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Federal Judge Dismisses 14th Amendment Lawsuit Attempting to Keep Trump off Ballot

Judge Robin Rosenberg on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit challenging former President Donald Trump’s presence on the presidential ballot under the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.

Florida attorney Lawrence Caplan and two others filed the lawsuit one week ago as part of a growing effort nationwide to use the Fourteenth Amendment to remove Trump from the ballot, citing his alleged role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riots.

Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment says public officials are not eligible to hold office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States.

However, Rosenberg, an Obama-appointee, dismissed the case on standing grounds. Rosenberg ruled the plaintiffs did not have a “cognizable” injury that gives them standing to bring the lawsuit.

As the Palm Beach Post reported:

“Plaintiffs lack standing to challenge Defendant’s qualifications for seeking the Presidency,” Rosenberg wrote, adding that “the injuries alleged” from the insurrection on Capitol Hill more than two years ago “are not cognizable and not particular to them.”

Rosenberg also added that “an individual citizen does not have standing to challenge whether another individualis qualified to hold public office.”

She noted two prior court rulings against plaintiffs trying to keep candidates off the ballot because they participated in the Jan. 6 violence in Washington, D.C.

The Fourteenth Amendments’ “disqualification” clause has gained steam in recent months after elitist legal scholars from both the left and Never right have proposed using it to keep Trump off the ballot.

As Breitbart News reported:

[Former Clinton administration labor secretary Robert] Reich was recently joined by legal scholars William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, both Never Trump members of the otherwise conservative Federalist Society, who wrote in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review that Section 3 “disqualifies former President Donald Trump, and potentially many others, because of their participation in the attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election.”

This weekend, legal scholars J. Michael Luttig and Laurence H. Tribe joined the chorus, in The Atlantic. They cited the fact that Trump has been indicted at both the state and federal levels for various crimes, including a federal indictment in Washington, D.C., and a state indictment for Fulton County, Georgia, for his efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.

Secretaries of state nationwide have been addressing the issue in recent weeks as these challenges are raised.

New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan (R) said earlier in the week he is “not seeking to remove any names” from the GOP primary ballot after Charlie Kirk urged his supporters to call Scanlan’s office following reports Scanlan was weighing the idea.

Arizona’s Democrat Secretary of State Adrian Fontes announced this week state law prohibits the Fourteenth Amendment from being used to keep Trump off the Arizona ballot.

“Now, the Arizona Supreme Court said that because there’s no statutory process in federal law to enforce Section 3 of the 14th amendment, you can’t enforce it,” Fontes said. “That’s what the Arizona Supreme Court said, so that’s the state of the law in Arizona. Now, do I agree with that? No, that’s stupid What I’m saying is I’m going to follow the law. And the law in Arizona is what the law in Arizona is. Whether I like it or not, is irrelevant.”

The case is Caplan v. Trump, No.  0:23-cv-61628, in the United States District Court for Southern District of Florida.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter.

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