Lawsuit cites 14th Amendment, would disqualify former President Trump from Utah ballot

Sep 7, 2023, 5:15 PM | Updated: 6:06 pm

Former president Donald Trump is pictured greeting the crowd at the "Stop The Steal" Rally on Janua...

FILE: Former president Donald Trump is pictured greeting the crowd at the "Stop The Steal" Rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. A long-shot presidential candidate is attempting to keep the former president off the ballot in Utah, citing the 14th Amendment. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — A new lawsuit seeks to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot in Utah on the grounds of the 14th Amendment.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah by long-shot candidate John Anthony Castro. It claims the former president violated the 14th Amendment with his involvement in the events of Jan. 6th, 2021.

The 14th Amendment reads:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, … who, having previously taken an oath, … as an officer of the United States, … 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. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability. 

Castro is suing on the grounds that the former president, “engaged in or provided ‘aid or comfort’ to an insurrection.” 

The suit also names Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson. By naming Henderson, Castro hopes to bar her from “the acceptance and/or processing of any ballot access documentation of [Trump] for both the primary election and general election.” 

“The Lieutenant Gov. is aware of the complaint but has not yet been served the lawsuit,” a spokesman for Henderson said.

Trump Lawsuit Ut 0907 by Simone Seikaly on Scribd


Claims of Trump violating the 14th Amendment

The suit cites several examples that support Castro’s belief that former President Trump “provided aid or comfort” to those who became violent at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

It claims the former president gave an executive military order to the Proud Boys led by Chairman Enrique Tarrio, “when he instructed them on live television to ‘stand back and stand by,” the suit reads.

It further alleges that on Jan. 6th, the former president said, “We love you, you’re very special” to those who were attempting, by storming the capitol, to delay the certification of 2020 election results by Congress.

Castro also alleges that Trump provided aid in the form of a promise of pardons.

“If I run and if l win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly. And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons,” the suit cites Trump as saying on Jan. 6th. 

The suit also claims that Trump held a fundraiser for those who had been at the Capitol riots, “thereby assisting in the acquisition of financial aid for their legal bills.”

Trump speaks out 

Trump has denied all wrongdoing in the events of Jan. 6th. Earlier this week, he specifically addressed this legal argument that has spilled into the presidential campaign.

 “Almost all legal scholars have voiced opinions that the 14th Amendment has no legal basis or standing relative to the upcoming 2024 Presidential Election,” the former president wrote on his social media platform Truth Social. 

“Like Election Interference, it is just another “trick” being used by the Radical Left Communists, Marxists, and Fascists, to again steal an Election that their candidate, the WORST, MOST INCOMPETENT, & MOST CORRUPT President in U.S. history, is incapable of winning in a Free and Fair Election. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” he wrote in the post.

The Deseret News reports Castro’s suit has also been filed in Florida, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, and that other activist groups are planning similar efforts in key primary states.

Our previous reporting:

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Lawsuit cites 14th Amendment, would disqualify former President Trump from Utah ballot