On Tuesday, a judge in Michigan ruled to dismiss the legal challenge that sought to disqualify Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 ballot using the 14th Amendment’s Civil War-era provision against insurrectionists.
Additionally, the judge determined that the authority to decide Trump’s eligibility based on this constitutional amendment does not fall within the Michigan Secretary of State’s jurisdiction. The ruling represents a significant triumph for the former president.
In his ruling, Michigan Court of Claims Judge James Redford stated that issues regarding Trump’s involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol breach and its potential constitutional implications on barring him from the presidency should be resolved by elected representatives in Congress.
He determined that this issue is a “political question” and not one for the courts to decide.
“Earlier today, the state court in Michigan dismissed the remaining 14th Amendment challenges to President Trump’s ballot eligibility for 2024,” said Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesman.
“This decision follows yesterday’s dismissal of a claim in Wayne County, MI and prior dismissals in Minnesota and New Hampshire, as well as the recommended dismissal of a similar claim in South Carolina. Each and every one of these ridiculous cases have 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.”
Cheung finished in the statement, “While the Trump Campaign welcomes these dismissals in Michigan and anticipates the future dismissals of the other 14th Amendment cases, we are most focused on once again winning the great state of Michigan and the re-election of President Trump next year.”
“Each and every one of these ridiculous cases have LOST because they are all un-Constitutional left-wing fantasies orchestrated by monied allies of the Biden campaign seeking to…deny the American people the right to choose their next president.” – @TheStevenCheung pic.twitter.com/rTwmOTMsC2
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) November 14, 2023
In simple terms, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment disqualifies individuals from holding certain offices if they had previously sworn an oath to support the U.S. Constitution and then subsequently engaged in or supported insurrection or rebellion against the U.S.
The section was originally intended to prevent former Confederate officials and military officers from returning to positions of power after the Civil War, but its provisions are still part of the Constitution and can theoretically be applied today.
Last week, a Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed the same lawsuit for their state. The petition argued that Trump’s objections to the 2020 election violated Section 3 of the Amendment. The group that launched the petition was also involved with the suit in Michigan.
The state of Colorado is undergoing the same lawsuit to see if Trump will be on the ballot. The court cases have been marred by ambiguity due to the age and dateness of the Amendment.
“Neither the Constitution nor Congress, in the one hundred fifty years since that amendment was passed, has clarified how this works,” CNN’s legal expert Elie Honig has said.
“The problem is, you can’t just make it up now and apply it retroactively. Some scholars argue it’s ‘self-executing.’ What does that even mean? Clearly, someone has to enforce it. Why do you think we’re having legal debates in Colorado right now?”
Trump is currently the favorite to win the presidency.