Trump allowed to appear on Michigan ballot, judge rules

Lawsuits in several states seek to prohibit former president from appearing on the 2024 ballot

Ariana Baio
Tuesday 14 November 2023 22:14 GMT
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Michigan is the latest state to file lawsuit against Trump on ballots

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Louise Thomas

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Donald Trump may still appear on the 2024 primary presidential ballot in Michigan, a state judge ruled on Tuesday, shutting down efforts to remove Mr Trump by invoking the 14th Amendment.

Judge James Redford ruled that neither the courts nor the Michigan Secretary of State have the authority to determine when someone is eligible to run for office nor remove candidates from the ballot, in three separate opinions.

He also ruled that the 14th Amendment presented a “political question” which is “nonjusticiable”

The opinion comes less than a month after groups filed a lawsuit in Michigan to have the ex-president removed from the ballot under the civil-war era Section 3 of the 14th Amendment which disqualifies an individual from holding office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after taking the oath of office.

The effort claims Mr Trump’s alleged efforts leading up to the January 6 attack on the Capitol were consistent with engaging in an insurrection.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in Colorado, Minnesota and New Hampshire but so far no state has blocked Mr Trump from the ballot.

Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit in its state, saying there was no statute prohibiting a political party from placing an ineligible candidate on its primary ballot.

Mr Trump is currently the frontrunner Republican candidate and expected to receive the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) nomination – despite facing two criminal trials next year tied to his efforts to overturn 2020 election results and January 6.

There is some dispute over whether or not January 6 constituted an insurrection.

Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the US Capitol in Washington on 6 January 2021
Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the US Capitol in Washington on 6 January 2021 (AP)

Tuesday’s ruling marks a victory for the former president as he seeks re-election in the White House.

Though it only applies to Michigan, it will likely serve as an example for the efforts to remove Mr Trump from the ballot in other states.

Those looking to use the 14th Amendment against the ex-president in Michigan can appeal Judge Redford’s decision, sending it to higher courts.

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