On October 2, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in a pro se lawsuit filed by John Anthony Castro against Donald Trump, concerning whether Castro, apparently a Republican presidential candidate, has standing to challenge Trump’s candidacy in federal court under section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The federal district court ruled that federal courts do not have jurisdiction over such claims, which (in federal court) require plaintiffs to demonstrate that they, personally, have a particularized interest (standing) in the case. The court did not reach the merits of Section 3, e.g., whether January 6, 2021 constituted an insurrection, or whether Donald Trump engaged in it. Castro filed his petition for Supreme Court review before briefing was completed in his pending appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which, again, solely concerns whether he has Article III standing.

Free Speech For People has filed challenges to Trump’s eligibility for office in state court in Minnesota and Michigan (and plans to file additional challenges in multiple states) using state candidate eligibility challenge procedures. These procedures, which are well-known to election lawyers, specifically allow voters to challenge candidate eligibility. This ruling, based on the limited jurisdiction of the federal courts, has no impact whatsoever on Trump’s eligibility for office or Free Speech For People’s challenges under state candidate eligibility challenge processes that are designed for this purpose.

As a CNN article on Castro’s case noted, Free Speech For People’s challenges (and a Colorado case filed by CREW) “are far more serious legal endeavors than Castro’s challenge, and they have the backing of a wide array of legal experts and constitutional scholars.”