A judge in Michigan has rejected a fringe lawsuit to remove Donald Trump from the ballot.
It's a precious victory for Trump as he faces multiple legal battles across the nation, including criminal prosecutions and a civil fraud trial that threatens control of his business empire.
Court of Claims Judge James Redford found that Trump followed the rules to qualify for the state primary.
Left-wing groups have filed lawsuits in other states to knock Trump off the ballot, claiming, under a novel theory involving the 14th Amendment's "insurrection" clause, that Trump is disqualified because of January 6th.
Never before has the 14th Amendment been applied to remove a major presidential candidate from the ballot, let alone the leading opposition candidate to the incumbent president.
The judge in Michigan said that it should not be left to a single judge to determine what counts as "a rebellion or insurrection and whether or not someone participated in it” and that Congress is the appropriate body for settling the question.
A lone 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.”
The liberal group Free Speech for the People, which is backing the effort to remove Trump from the ballot in several states, expressed disappointment in the judge's decision and said they will appeal.
"While our appeal is pending, the trial court’s decision isn’t binding on any other court, and we continue our current and planned legal actions in other states to enforce Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment against Donald Trump," Ron Fein, the group's legal director, said.
Last week, a judge in Minnesota similarly found that Trump could remain on the ballot, and a decision in a case in Colorado is expected this week.
The advocates of taking Trump off the ballot say that it is necessary to protect "democracy."
But Trump, the leading Republican candidate in next year's presidential election, has denounced the effort as a form of election interference.
"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," Trump spokesman Steve Cheung said in a statement,