Michigan Supreme Court Retains Trump for 2024 Primary, Rejects ‘Insurrectionist Ban’ Case

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TL/DR –

The Michigan Supreme Court rejected an attempt to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 primary ballot under the US Constitution’s “insurrectionist ban” claim. This outcome contrasts with the recent ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court that removed Trump from its primary ballot due to his alleged role in the January 6 Capitol riot, a decision currently pending appeal. Due to these differing decisions, appeals to the US Supreme Court are expected to become more critical, especially because the Michigan lawsuit was dismissed early on procedural grounds and never reached a trial.


Michigan Supreme Court Rejects Attempt to Remove Trump from 2024 Ballot

The Michigan Supreme Court rejected an attempt to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 primary ballot based on the US Constitution’s “insurrectionist ban.” This outcome, perceived as a victory for Trump, contrasts with the recent ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court, which disqualified Trump from its primary ballot due to his alleged role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

Critical Appeal to the US Supreme Court

As the nation heads towards the 2024 primaries, these contrasting decisions from Colorado and Michigan highlight the significance of potential appeals to the US Supreme Court. The Michigan lawsuit was dismissed early in the process, and an intermediate appeals court upheld the decision based on procedural grounds.

Court Rejects Political Questions

The Michigan Court of Claims judge initially dismissed the case, stating that state law doesn’t allow election officials to police the eligibility of presidential primary candidates. The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld this decision, stating Trump’s potential disqualification was irrelevant to his placement on the primary ballot.

Here’s how independent voters feel about Colorado Supreme Court removing Trump from the ballot

Michigan Justices Justify Decision

Justice Elizabeth Welch compared Michigan law to Colorado’s election code, stating that anti-Trump challengers identified no provision in Michigan Election Law requiring presidential candidates to attest to their legal qualification to hold the office. Lower-court rulings in Michigan left the door open for future 14th Amendment challenges if Trump wins the nomination. She noted this dynamic in the separate opinion she wrote.

Similar Ruling in Minnesota

The Minnesota Supreme Court reached a similar conclusion last month, stating that an “insurrectionist ban” case against Trump should be dismissed for the GOP primary, but left open the possibility for challengers to try again if Trump wins the nomination.

Challengers’ Response and Future Efforts

Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech For People, called the decision “disappointing” but emphasized that it “isn’t binding on any court outside Michigan.” Mark Brewer, another attorney for the challengers, said they would continue their efforts in Michigan.

14th Amendment Challenges

The 14th Amendment, ratified after the Civil War, says officials who take an oath to support the Constitution are banned from future office if they “engaged in insurrection.” The Michigan lawsuit, filed by advocacy organization Free Speech For People on behalf of a group of voters, pursued an unsuccessful 14th Amendment challenge against Trump in Minnesota and recently filed a new case in Oregon.


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