Ben Marquis
January 19, 2024

Washington state judge rejects 14th Amendment ballot eligibility lawsuit to exclude Trump from primary election

Democrats, and in some cases, anti-Trump Republicans, have filed lawsuits in states across the nation that seek to have the courts declare former President Donald Trump ineligible to appear on primary and general election ballots under the "insurrection" clause of Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.

One such effort was just defeated in Washington state on Thursday when a county judge dismissed a 14th Amendment lawsuit that aimed to have Trump barred from appearing on that state's March 12 primary ballot, according to The Hill.

The suit aimed to force Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs through a court order to exclude the former president's name from the rest of the candidates that will be listed on the ballot for the state's Republican primary contest.

14th Amendment lawsuit filed and then dismissed

In a Jan. 12 press release, Sec. Hobbs revealed that the challenge against former President Trump's eligibility had been filed just a few days earlier after he declined a request to unilaterally bar the leading Republican candidate from the ballot.

"I am committed to presenting Washingtonians with the opportunity to make their voices heard in the Presidential Primary March 12, which requires printing ballots and sending them to registered voters weeks ahead of Election Day," Hobbs said at the time. "Our state’s process gives the courts an important role in answering questions about eligibility. I look forward to having this question resolved in a timely fashion."

The matter was indeed handled in a "timely fashion," as less than one week later Thurston County Superior Court Judge Mary Sue Wilson issued a ruling to reject the 14th Amendment eligibility challenge against Trump.

"An order directing the secretary of state to take different action, an order from this court, is simply not supported by the statutes and not supported by the affidavit of the electors," Judge Wilson said in the ruling.

She further asserted that Hobbs had "acted consistent with his duties" in accepting as-is the candidate slates submitted by the major parties to be included on their respective primary election ballots.

Secretary "grateful" for swift ruling on Trump eligibility challenge

In a news release on Thursday, Sec. Hobbs highlighted Judge Wilson's rapid ruling to dismiss the challenge against former President Trump's eligibility, which followed a dismissal earlier in the week on Tuesday by a court in Kitsap County, where the lawsuit had originally been filed.

"I am grateful that Judge Wilson ruled in such a timely and well-considered fashion, and that she recognized that I and my staff have been working in full compliance with state law governing the Presidential Primary," Hobbs said in a statement.

He added, "We will continue working with our partners in county elections offices to get all the necessary materials for this election to every Washington voter."

"The judge made the correct decision"

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement on Thursday, "Today, Washington state court ruled to keep President Trump’s name on the primary election ballot. Washington’s decision mirrors similar decisions in over a dozen federal courts as well as state courts in Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon."

"Although the judge made the correct decision in this matter, we remain steadfast in our opposition to these cases, which are orchestrated by Democrat Party allies of failed president Crooked Joe Biden and we resolve to fight any and all remaining bad-faith, election-interfering sham cases wherever they reside," he continued.

"We believe that a fair ruling on the issues in front of the Supreme Court of the United States will ultimately put all of these unconstitutional misinterpretations of the 14th Amendment to rest, preserving American voting rights," Cheung added. "President Trump looks forward to being reelected to the presidency this Fall as we all work together to Make America Great Again."

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