The Minnesota Supreme Court has dismissed an effort to keep former President Donald Trump off the state’s primary election ballot in 2024.
The court heard arguments last week after a group of voters and legal organizations filed a petition to bar Trump — the frontrunner in one of the nation’s two major political parties — from both the state primary and general election ballots in 2024.
Their petition argued that Trump’s objections to the 2020 election violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, a Civil War statute that prohibits anyone who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” can hold office.
On Wednesday, the court formally dismissed the controversial effort that has been heavily scrutinized by a number of constitutional scholars. In its order, the court wrote that “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.”
The court did not address the specific issue of ballot access in the general election, leaving the door open to backdoor legal challenges.
Ron Fein, the legal director for Free Speech For People, which is representing the Minnesota voters who filed the petition, said the group was “disappointed” by the ruling. “However, the Minnesota Supreme Court explicitly recognized that the question of Donald Trump’s disqualification for engaging in insurrection against the U.S. Constitution may be resolved at a later stage,” he said.
The legal group is also involved with a similar challenge in Michigan that will be argued Thursday before a state judge.
Trump has dismissed the efforts to remove him from state ballots as unconstitutional election interference. Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung praised the ruling in a statement Wednesday, calling it “further validation of the Trump Campaign’s consistent argument that the 14th Amendment ballot challenges are nothing more than strategic, un-Constitutional attempts to interfere with the election.”