Mich. Judge Rejects Bid to Block Trump from 2024 Ballot
A Michigan judge is ruling against using an antiquated Civil War-era clause to keep former President Donald Trump off the 2024 primary ballot. Court of Claims Judge James Redford ruled Tuesday against claims that a clause in the 14th Amendment barring Confederates from holding public office due to their prior rebellion applies to Trump due to his contesting the 2020 presidential election results. Reford clarified that, according to Michigan state law, the secretary of state does not have the authority to intervene in a primary election; all that is required for Trump to appear on the Republican ballot is his party’s nomination and his own consent.
The judge also explained that if an attempt were to be made to bar Trump from the ballot based on the 14th Amendment, it would be up to the U.S. Congress to determine that Trump qualified as an insurrectionist. He said that a judge “cannot in any manner or form possibly embody the represented qualities of every citizen of the nation — as does the House of Representatives and the Senate.”
This follows the Minnesota Supreme Court rejecting a similar argument last week and ruling that Trump can appear on the 2024 primary ballot, relying on the same legal logic Redford evinced. The court ruled:
“Although the Secretary of State and other election officials administer the mechanics of the election, this is an internal party election to serve internal party purposes, and winning the presidential nomination primary does not place the person on the general election ballot as a candidate for President of the United States. … There is no state statute that prohibits a major political party from placing on the presidential nomination primary ballot, or sending delegates to the national convention supporting, a candidate who is ineligible to hold office.”
Although the court dismissed the petition to bar Trump from the primary ballots “because there is no error to correct here,” the ruling did note that leftist petitioners can bring “a petition raising their claims as to the general election,” leaving the proverbial door open for leftists to attempt to block Trump from the 2024 presidential election ballot.
In a statement to media on the rulings, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said, “Each and every one of these ridiculous cases has LOST because they are all un-Constitutional left-wing fantasies orchestrated by monied allies of the Biden campaign seeking to turn the election over to the courts and deny the American people the right to choose their next president.”
A similar case is currently being deliberated in Colorado, where Denver District Judge Sarah Wallace has pledged she will have a judgement on the case by the end of Friday. Wallace is a Democrat appointed to the Court by Democratic Governor Jared Polis and has contributed to a political action committee to target Republicans who supported Trump on January 6, 2021. Mike Davis, the founder of the constitutional think tank Article 3 Project, commented on “Washington Watch” this week, “I guarantee you she is going to disqualify President Trump from the ballot here in Colorado.”
“These Democrat operatives and fake Republicans are trying to throw President Trump off the ballot in Colorado to establish a precedent in this blue state … to chase President Trump off so they can just disqualify him,” he said, adding, “They’re simply trying to take him off the ballot in several states because this lawfare and election interference is backfiring. And President Trump is on a path to beat President Biden like a drum on November 5, 2024. So they just want to take him off the ballot.”
Thus far, Trump is dominating the GOP primary field, with polling aggregator Five-Thirty-Eight reporting the former president has a nearly 60% favorability rating, with fellow contenders trailing far behind: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is in second place with just shy of 15%, while some other contenders like former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum don’t even have a full 1%.
Trump has also been backed by prominent conservative leaders. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) endorsed Trump “wholeheartedly” on Tuesday, saying, “I am all-in for President Trump. We have to make Biden a one-term president.” Last week, current Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) also endorsed Trump’s presidential bid. She said, “It’s not a question between Right versus Left anymore. It’s normal versus crazy, and President Biden and the Left are doubling down on crazy. The time has come to return to the normal policies of the Trump era which created a safer, stronger, and more prosperous America…” Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) added his name to the list of Trump endorsers early this month, saying, “When you look at what is going on in the world today, this would not be happening if he was the president. … I think we all should come together and do everything we can to help him win the nomination so we can beat Biden.”
The leftist group in Michigan responsible for petitioning to ban Trump from the primary ballot have announced they intend to appeal Judge Redford’s decision to the state’s Supreme Court.
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.