A Texas Republican running for president is asking a federal judge in Oklahoma to disqualify Donald Trump from state ballots next year for allegedly engaging in an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.
John Anthony Castro, of Mansfield, Texas, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City last week, claiming he has legal standing to seek Trump’s disqualification under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
That section bars people from running for federal or state office if they had previously taken an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
In his suit, Castro says, “Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was specifically designed to ensure that non-insurrectionists did not have to politically compete with the more politically popular pro-insurrectionist politicians in the South … Castro is the precise type of person that the framers of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment specifically sought to politically protect while Trump is the precise type of person they sought to disqualify.”
The suit says Trump summoned “his mob to our nation’s Capitol” on Jan. 6, 2021, organized and assembled the mob, allowed them to have weapons, “radicalized” the mob with “incendiary rhetoric,” ordered them to march to the Capitol to disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes and didn’t call off the mob until it became clear that they wouldn’t prevent the certification of the 2020 election.
The suit names Oklahoma Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax as a defendant and the former president as a “nominal” defendant. The Oklahoma attorney general’s office will be responsible for defending Ziriax.
The case has been assigned, for now, to U.S. District Judge Jodi Dishman, a Trump nominee.
Similar lawsuits filed in other sates, including Florida, Colorado
Castro, who has run unsuccessfully in Texas for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House, has filed similar suits in Nevada, Maine, Utah and Florida. A group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington recently filed a similar case in state court in Colorado; Trump has sought to move that case to federal court.
In a social media post last week, Trump said, “Almost all legal scholars have voiced opinions that the 14th Amendment has no legal basis or standing relative to the upcoming 2024 Presidential Election. 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.”
Oklahoma is holding its presidential primaries on March 5, as part of the next Super Tuesday. Candidate filing for the primaries is scheduled to begin on Dec. 4 and run through Dec. 6.