CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The West Virginia Republican Party has filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit filed by 2024 Republican primary presidential candidate John Anthony Castro, of Texas, who is trying to get former President Donald Trump removed from West Virginia’s ballot.
On X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Castro posted pictures of the motions that he filed in West Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Montana, Utah, Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma and Wyoming, saying “Happy Labor Day! About to unleash legal hell on @realDonaldTrump in what he thought was secure red states… but they’re in blue circuits. Zero path to 270.”
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
The clause was added to prevent former Confederate officials from becoming members of Congress after the Civil War, but it also allowed Congress to lift the ban, which it did in 1872. The provision has almost never been used since then.
Several West Virginia Republicans have spoken out about Castro’s suit.
The entire basis for Mr. Castro’s lawsuit to keep President Trump off of the ballot in West Virginia is that he clearly does not understand what a ‘direct military order’ is – which isn’t surprising given that he was previously caught lying about being a West Point graduate. In addition to the suit in our state, Castro is targeting seven other states that all overwhelmingly supported President Trump in the 2020 election. That is all you need to know in order to see this is just another political stunt by opponents of the former president.Sen. Ryan Weld (R-Brooke), in a press release.
’Anti-American’ and ‘anti-democratic’ are the terms that define the heinous efforts to remove President Trump from the ballot in 2024. If successful, these terrible efforts will further divide the nation and create irreparable damage to the country. This is clear and transparent attempt to steal the 2024 election because they cannot beat him. I condemn these efforts. If they want to defeat President Trump and his America First agenda, they should beat him at the ballot box – not by abusive actions in the courts. The American people deserve the right to choose our next President. This is merely another abuse of the American justice system by extremists on the left and this failed Biden Administration.Sen. Mike Stuart (R-Kanawha), in a press release.
Every eligible candidate, including Donald Trump, has the constitutional right to have their name on West Virginia’s Primary Election ballot unless legally disqualified. Seeking to remove voters’ opportunity to nominate a candidate to be the next President of the United States is not to be taken lightly. As West Virginia’s chief election official, every eligible candidate and registered voter can trust that I will follow and enforce the Constitution,”WV Secretary of State Mac Warner in a press release.
On Tuesday, the West Virginia Republican Party, being represented by The American Center for Law and Justice, filed a motion to intervene in the case, Castro v. Warner et al., saying it bears the ultimate discretionary responsibility under West Virginia law to determine who shall be the Republican nominees for presidential office according to its own policies and procedures.
Its petition cites West Virginia State Code § 3-5-2(b), saying “[a]ny questions regarding whether such plan was rightfully adopted by the party shall be resolved by the party based upon party rules.”
The state GOP said in its filing that Castro is “attempting to accomplish a maneuver with the intent to block from the ballot the candidate he believes the Intervenor will designate and to enjoin the West Virginia Republican Party from carrying out its own political activity.”
The party is asking the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of West Virginia to declare Castro’s effort to be in violation of its First Amendment and other rights.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.