On August 31, a federal judge in Florida dismissed a lawsuit filed by a tax attorney, representing himself pro se, who challenged Donald Trump’s eligibility for office under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court ruled, unsurprisingly, 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.

Free Speech For People plans to challenge Trump’s eligibility for office 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 planned challenges under state candidate eligibility challenge processes that are designed for this purpose.