Minnesota lawsuit filed to remove Trump from 2024 ballot

Lawsuit points to 14th Amendment to argue that former president is ineligible for public office

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 12 September 2023 20:54 BST
Related video: Georgia sheriff says Trump sitting for a mugshot was ‘heartbreaking’

A lawsuit has been filed by a number of voters in Minnesota attempting to remove Donald Trump from the presidential ballot in 2024.

The lawsuit points to the 14th Amendment to argue that the former president is ineligible for public office because he violated his oath of office after his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.

“Donald J. Trump, through his words and actions, after swearing an oath as an officer of the United States to support the Constitution, engaged in insurrection or rebellion, or gave aid and comfort to its enemies, as defined by Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the lawsuit states.

Section three of the 14th Amendment states that “No person shall ... hold any office, civil or military, under the United States ... who, having previously taken an oath ... as an officer of the United States, 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”.

Free Speech for People, a liberal election and campaign finance reform group, helped to bring the lawsuit, NBC News reported.

Last week, a separate group of voters supported by CREW, a left-of-centre government watchdog, filed a motion to block Mr Trump from the ballot in Colorado.

Similar legal filings have been put forward in Michigan and Florida.

Mr Trump has slammed the legal filings as “election interference”.

In a statement to NBC, the legal director at Free Speech For People, Ron Fein, said Mr Trump had to be kept off the ballot because he “incited a violent insurrection that attacked the U.S. Capitol, threatened the assassination of the Vice President and congressional leaders, and disrupted the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in our nation’s history”.

He added: “Our predecessors understood that oath-breaking insurrectionists will do it again, and worse, if allowed back into power, so they enacted the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause to protect the republic from people like Trump. Trump is legally barred from the ballot and election officials must follow this constitutional mandate.”

The lawsuit filed in Minnesota doesn’t name Mr Trump as a defendant but is instead aimed at the top election official in the state – Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon – who had rejected previous calls to action from Free Speech for People.

“The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State does not have legal authority to investigate a candidate’s eligibility for office. In the case of presidential candidates, the major political parties will submit names of candidates to our office for the Presidential Nomination Primary by January 2, 2024. Those submissions will appear on the ballot for the March 5, 2024 contest unless a court says otherwise,” Mr Simon said last week, according to NBC.

The lawsuit argues that Mr Simon does have the authority to take measures and is looking to get a court order to state that Mr Trump has been disqualified and to direct Mr Simon to block Mr Trump from the ballots in both the primary and general elections.

“For the sake of Minnesota’s voters, we hope the court resolves this issue to allow for orderly administration of the elections in 2024,” the office of Mr Simon said in a statement on Tuesday, NBC reported.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in