A judge in Washington has made a ruling on Thursday stating that former President Donald Trump has the right to be listed on state presidential primary ballots.
This decision comes after Trump’s controversial actions where he encouraged his supporters to stage an insurrection during his final days in the Oval Office.
A group of eight Kitsap County residents, located near Seattle, have recently taken legal action to have President Trump removed from the presidential ballot in Washington state.
This lawsuit aligns with similar efforts seen in over 30 other states, all with the aim of excluding Trump from the ballot. The New York Times has reported on the increasing number of such lawsuits across the nation.
The Kitsap County Superior Court listened to the case on Tuesday, but the judge determined that the case should be heard in Olympia, Washington instead.
Following the arguments on Thursday, Judge Mary Sue Wilson of the Thurston County Superior Court dismissed the case. Wilson stated that the secretary of state had fulfilled his duties by including Trump on the state primary ballot.
According to Wilson, the affidavit of the electors and the existing statutes do not provide support for an order from the court to direct the secretary of state to take different action.
The Washington Republican primary, scheduled for March 12, is just around the corner, and the decision to move forward with it comes approximately two months in advance.
In a statement, Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs (D) emphasized the need to print the ballots weeks ahead of time. He expressed his anticipation for the prompt resolution of this question.
At present, only two states, Colorado and Maine, have expressed the possibility of prohibiting Trump from appearing on primary ballots. The Supreme Court is scheduled to review Colorado’s case in the coming month, while a decision in the Maine case has been postponed until the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Colorado case.
Trump has emerged as the clear front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, having achieved a resounding victory in the Iowa caucuses.
Trump’s critics argue that by inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, he violated the 14th Amendment. This amendment includes a clause that explicitly prohibits any “officer of the United States” from holding office if they have engaged in insurrection or rebellion.
Trump had encouraged his supporters to express themselves at the Capitol, where Congress was convening to officially confirm Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
“We must fight with all our might. If we don’t fight fiercely, we will lose our country,” emphasized the former president during a rally that preceded the tragic riot.
Critics of the movement that aims to prevent Trump from appearing on primary ballots argue that it goes against democratic principles, asserting that voters should have the opportunity to express their opinions. On the other hand, proponents of the movement contend that the language used in the Constitution is unambiguous, supporting their position.