A Washington state judge denied eight petitioners’ request to remove Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential primary ballot.
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Mary Sue Wilson rejected claims Trump should be ineligible due to the J6 Capitol riots.
“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,” Wilson said in her ruling, according to KOMO News.
BREAKING: A Thurston County judge denied 8 petitioners' request to remove former president Donald Trump's name from Washington ballots on Thursday: https://t.co/8wuQYTO4k9
— KOMO News (@komonews) January 18, 2024
KOMO News reports:
By law, Judge Wilson said she found no error in putting Trump on the ballot, so his name stays.
“I’m a law follower, so if our laws are giving us flexibility for people to have a name removed. Then that’s our state law,” said Karla Winkley, a Thurston County voter.
“The judge made the right decision. I wasn’t totally comfortable with her reasoning, and I think there’s some very important issues here, and that is regardless of how you feel about Donald Trump. Trump has not been charged with an insurrection,” said C. Davis, another Thurston County voter.
The petition pushing for ballots to be printed without Trump’s name started in Kitsap County, in a courtroom filled mostly with Trump supporters. The hearing on Tuesday lasted less than 10 minutes before Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Bassett said the courtroom was the wrong venue.
BREAKING: A Thurston County judge Thursday declined to remove former President Donald Trump from Washington’s presidential primary ballot. https://t.co/XsQX5E4HcP
— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) January 18, 2024
The Seattle Times added:
Wilson declined to consider a question about Trump’s place on the general election ballot, calling it premature, but noted the possibility of people, “when it is right,” potentially challenging Trump’s spot there as well.
The Kitsap County residents had pushed for Trump’s removal from the ballot, arguing that his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol constitute an insurrection and make him ineligible for office. A Kitsap County judge, earlier this week, said the case should be heard in Thurston County, home of the state Capitol.
The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution bars anyone who has served as “an officer of the United States” from holding office if they have “engaged in insurrection.”
There have been challenges, under the 14th Amendment, to Trump’s ballot eligibility in at least 35 states. In two states, Colorado and Maine, officials have ordered the former president removed from the ballot, although those decisions are on hold, pending appeals.
In Colorado, Wilson said, there were months between the filing of the ballot challenge and ballot deadlines. And there was a full five-day trial to consider evidence. There was time for a district court to rule and for the state Supreme Court to consider an appeal.
None of that is contemplated by Washington law, Wilson said, which only allows her to correct clear errors.
The Maine Superior Court issued a stay on the decision to remove Trump from the primary ballot until the U.S. Supreme Court decides.