Judge in Michigan orders Trump remain on the 2024 ballot

November 15, 2023

A judge in Michigan has ruled in favor of former President Donald Trump in a 14th Amendment case to keep the former president on the ballot. 

Michigan Court of Claims Judge James Robert Redford took the same stance as seen in the Minnesota Supreme Court's recent decision to say that the former president's actions surrounding the 2020 presidential election did not constitute a rebellion or insurrection as outlined in that amendment.

Redford wrote on Tuesday that he didn't believe the plaintiffs in the case could "show that they are entitled to a declaratory judgment" because of state laws that require the secretary of state to put major candidates identified in the media on the primary ballot.

The Judge's Actions

The judge offered an order addressing three separate cases brought by local advocate, one by Free Speech for People representing a handful of local voters, and one brought by President Trump.

All the cases were part of petitions against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who was forced to put Trump on the list of candidates that would appear in the 2024 presidential election.

All people born or naturalized in the United States are granted citizenship and equal rights under the 14th Amendment. However, it also featured a clause that barred people who had participated in "rebellions" or "insurrections" against the government from holding office.

According to Judge Redford's opinion, although the state secretary may exercise some autonomy in determining which media outlets to include in the candidate lists, state law ultimately governs the compilation of the lists by the political parties.

"The Legislature has not provided any prohibition as to who may be placed on such ballots, irrespective as to whether the individual may either serve as a general election candidate or ultimately serve as president if elected," the judge wrote.

However, unlike the ruling out of Minnesota's high court, Redford gave his interpretation of the relevant section of the 14th Amendment. The judge outlined a scenario where Trump would need to ultimately win the election before that amendment could be used to challenge him.

"If he does so, and his right to be seated as President is challenged and he is found to be under the Section 3 disability, he could then petition Congress to have that disability removed," Redford wrote.

Trump's Response

More than a dozen states, including Colorado, where the legal battle is ongoing, have filed identical challenges, and some have already dismissed similar suits.

According to Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina have all dismissed these claims, siding with the former president who is again running for the nation's highest office.

"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," he stated according to The Epoch Times.

The spokesperson added that representatives of the former president expect additional dismissals to similar cases.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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