A judge in Washington state ruled Thursday that Donald Trump will remain on Washington’s presidential primary ballot, rejecting an effort to have him disqualified.
The petition was filed by eight voters from Kitsap County. They argued that Trump’s actions regarding the Capitol riot and efforts to overturn the 2020 election results constituted insurrection, thus making him ineligible to appear on the ballot under the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution.
Judge Mary Sue Wilson wrote, “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.” She upheld the ruling and pointed out that Washington’s law for ballot challenges doesn’t allow for extensive fact-finding or debates. She also confirmed that the secretary of state correctly performed his duties in accepting the candidate submissions from both the Republican and Democratic parties.
While Washington’s stance on the ballot issue stays the same for the moment, the actions of other states show the diverse approaches being taken. Just this week, a Maine appeals court delayed ruling on the removal of Trump from the state ballot. Colorado has already removed him from their ballot. These state actions and legal challenges in 35 states so far indicate a widespread legal debate.
The US Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in the Colorado case is crucial. It will offer a definitive interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment in the context of presidential eligibility, potentially influencing similar cases across various states. This decision is not just about Trump’s eligibility; it is about how the Fourteenth Amendment’s provisions are applied and enforced in modern electoral processes, setting a precedent for future cases where such constitutional questions arise.