Michigan Supreme Court Rules to Keep Trump on 2024 Ballot

Michigan Supreme Court Rules to Keep Trump on 2024 Ballot

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The Michigan Supreme Court handed a victory to the former president.

The Michigan Supreme Court rejected an attempt to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot based on a reading of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, according to a court document posted on Wednesday.

The ruling in Michigan starkly contrasts a decision handed down last week by the Colorado Supreme Court that disqualified the former president from serving as president and removed him from the Colorado primary ballot, with a 4–3 majority of judges arguing that he was linked to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. However, some analysts have suggested that the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn the ruling—as he hasn’t been charged with either rebellion or insurrection in any jurisdiction.

According to the Michigan court’s brief order, it denied an appeal against the former president because it was “not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court.” The order appeared to reject the appeal on procedural grounds and did not address questions about whether President Trump engaged in an “insurrection” or whether the Constitution’s 14th Amendment’s Section 3 applies.

The order from the Michigan Supreme Court was not signed and no vote count was released. There was only one dissent: Democrat-nominated Justice Elizabeth Welch.

But with the ruling, due to the 2024 election’s timeline, it allows President Trump to remain on the ballot in Michigan, a key battleground state. Several recent polls have shown that the former president is leading President Joe Biden, a Democrat, in Michigan.

“The only legal issue properly before the Court is whether the Court of Claims and the Court of Appeals erred by holding that the Michigan Secretary of State lacks legal authority to remove or withhold former President Donald J. Trump’s name from Michigan’s 2024 presidential primary ballot,” Judge Welch wrote in the dissent.

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“Significantly, Colorado’s election laws differ from Michigan’s laws in a material way that is directly relevant to why the appellants in this case are not entitled to the relief they seek concerning the presidential primary election in Michigan,” she wrote, adding that “while not adopted by [a lower court], I would also vacate the Court of Claims’ analysis and application of the political question doctrine as unnecessary dicta considering the court’s conclusions on the merits as to the primary election and ripeness as to the general election … for these reasons, I respectfully dissent.”

Other Lawsuits

A lawsuit against the former president was filed in September by a left-wing advocacy group, Free Speech for the People, along with a group of voters.

It sought to disqualify President Trump under a provision in the U.S. Constitution, written in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, that blocks people who have engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” from holding office if they have previously sworn an oath to the United States. Colorado’s lawsuit was filed by a separate left-leaning organization.

About a month ago, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat who previously criticized President Trump’s claims about the 2020 election, announced a list of names for the 2024 presidential primaries in her state. The secretary said that it would be the final list of candidates “barring a court order.”

More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed in 2023 seeking to end President Trump’s presidential candidacy under interpretations of the 14th Amendment.

Free Speech for the People also filed a similar suit that was rejected by the Minnesota Supreme Court, and it filed a new challenge in Oregon. When the suit was rejected, President Trump hailed the decision.

On his social media platform, Truth Social, he wrote that the “ridiculous 14th Amendment lawsuit just thrown out by Minnesota Supreme Court,” adding at the time, “Congratulations to all who fought this HOAX.”

Republicans React

A Republican U.S. House lawmaker also proposed a bill to block the votes of any state that removes a presidential candidate from their respective ballots.

“Play stupid games, win stupid prizes,” Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) wrote on social media last week, introducing the bill. “Have a very MAGA Christmas.”

Several Republican state lawmakers in Georgia have also suggested a bill to block President Biden from the ballot.

“The absurdity of radical Democrat judges removing Donald Trump from the ballot in Colorado will be a stain on the American political system for decades. By their very own interpretation of the law, Joe Biden is 100 percent not eligible to run for political office,” the news release read. “Democrats’ insane justification to remove Trump can just as easily be applied to Joe Biden for his ‘insurrection’ at the southern border and his alleged corrupt family business dealings with China.”

Colorado Ruling

The Colorado high court, in a ruling last week, stated that the justices did “not reach these conclusions lightly,” adding, “We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us.”

“We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach,” their order said.

But one of the dissenting Colorado justices, Judge Carlos Samour, wrote that he believes President Trump’s due process rights were violated under the state court’s order.

“Our government cannot deprive someone of the right to hold public office without due process of law,” he wrote in his dissent. “Even if we are convinced that a candidate committed horrible acts in the past—dare I say, engaged in insurrection—there must be procedural due process before we can declare that individual disqualified from holding public office.”

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