Tax Cheat’s Effort To Remove Trump From Ballot Dismissed

 January 13, 2024

A federal judge in New Mexico dismissed a lawsuit that sought to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot.

The lawsuit, initiated by John Anthony Castro, cited the Insurrection Clause of the 14th Amendment as its basis. Castro, who faces legal troubles of his own, was recently indicted on 33 counts of aiding in the preparation of false tax returns.

His effort to remove Trump from the ballot was not his first; he has filed similar lawsuits in other states.

Judge Garcia's decision: Lack of standing

Judge Matthew Garcia, presiding over the case, ruled that Castro lacked "political competitor standing." This legal principle requires plaintiffs to demonstrate a direct and personal stake in the outcome of the case. In Garcia's view, Castro failed to meet this criterion.

Garcia's ruling was that Castro's efforts did not show him as a genuine competitor to Trump, Breitbart reported.

Despite Castro's claims of raising $677 in donations, hosting an online show, and appearing on some state ballots, the judge found these efforts insufficient for standing to sue.

Judge Matthew Garcia elaborated on his decision, stating, "Castro has put forth no allegations that suggest, even prima facie, he is genuinely competing with President Trump for votes or contributions, or that President Trump’s inclusion on the ballot damages his chances of winning the nomination in New Mexico."

The dismissal of the case was without prejudice, meaning it did not prevent Castro from pursuing similar legal actions in the future. However, this particular case was deemed to lack subject matter jurisdiction, a fundamental requirement for a federal court case.

Trump's campaign response

The response from Trump's camp was swift and unequivocal. Trump's campaign spokesman, Steven Cheung, viewed the dismissal as a reaffirmation of Trump's position. He underscored that Trump remains "undefeated" against claims based on the 14th Amendment.

Cheung accused the Democrats of attempting to "steal the election" through lawsuits like Castro's. He expressed confidence in Trump's prospects for the upcoming presidential election. Steven Cheung commented, "President Trump looks forward to a free and fair election and winning back the presidency, with the support of people of New Mexico and all states, in November."

The timeline of events surrounding this case paints a broader political picture. The lawsuit's timing coincided with the second anniversary of the January 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters. Castro's indictment on tax fraud charges came in November 2022, followed by his legal actions against Trump starting in December 2022.

A broader political context

This lawsuit and its dismissal must be understood in the context of the polarized political climate in the United States. It highlights the continuing legal and political battles that define the current era, especially as the country approaches the 2024 presidential election.

John Anthony Castro's legal challenges, despite their dismissal, reflect a broader strategy by some to use the courts to influence political outcomes. This approach, however, faces significant legal hurdles, as demonstrated by Judge Garcia's ruling.

As November 5, 2024, approaches, the political landscape is likely to witness more such legal skirmishes. These cases often extend beyond the courtroom, influencing public opinion and the political discourse.


The dismissal of John Anthony Castro's lawsuit against former President Donald Trump signifies more than just a legal defeat.

It underscores the complexities and challenges of using legal mechanisms to influence political processes.

As the U.S. moves closer to another presidential election, such developments remind us of the intricate interplay between law, politics, and public perception.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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