Oregon Supreme Court declines to rule on Trump ballot removal petition, waiting for SCOTUS decision on Colorado 14th Amendment case

 January 13, 2024

A group of voters in Oregon, backed by a national leftist advocacy group, filed a 14th Amendment-related petition last month that asked the Oregon Supreme Court to order Oregon's secretary of state to bar former President Donald Trump from appearing on that state's primary and general election ballots.

The Oregon High Court on Friday declined to render judgment on the matter, at least for now, and left open the possibility that it could readdress the ballot eligibility issue later, the Salem Statesman Journal reported.

The reason given for the non-decision was that the U.S. Supreme Court would soon review the Colorado Supreme Court's December ruling to bar Trump from that state's ballot under the 14th Amendment's "insurrection" clause, which could potentially "resolve" some or all of the arguments at hand in the Oregon case.

Another 14th Amendment ballot removal lawsuit

In a one-page media release on Friday, the Oregon Supreme Court announced that it had "declined to hear, for now," the challenge filed by five Oregon voters who wanted the court to force Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade to remove former President Trump's name from the state's election ballots.

Those voters are backed by a leftist anti-Trump organization known as Free Speech for People, which ironically is attempting to disenfranchise and stifle the free speech of Trump's voters by denying them the opportunity to vote for their candidate of choice.

That group has argued that Trump, by way of his alleged incitement and support of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021, which they deemed to be an "insurrection," Trump is now disqualified from holding office under the 14th Amendment's Section 3 prohibition of public office for individuals who had "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" after having previously sworn an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit became necessary, per the Statesman Journal, after Sec. Griffin-Valade, backed by state attorneys, denied the initial removal request from the voters after she determined that she lacked the authority to decide who is and isn't qualified to appear on a primary election ballot.

Waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to address the issue first

In its one-page order, the Oregon Supreme Court observed that the U.S. Supreme Court's "expedited" review of the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling to remove former President Trump from that state's ballot would likely deal with arguments that were "identical" to the arguments made by the Oregon voters, presumably before the state's March 21 deadline to print primary ballots.

"Because a decision by the United States Supreme Court regarding the Fourteenth Amendment issue may resolve one or more contentions that relators make in the Oregon proceeding, the Oregon Supreme Court denied their petition for mandamus," the court said.

However, that denial was made "without prejudice to their ability to file a new petition seeking resolution of any issue that may remain following a decision by the United States Supreme Court."

Dueling statements on court's deferred decision

The Statesman Journal reported that Free Speech for People said in a statement that the Oregon Supreme Court's "decision not to decide" was "disappointing," and asserted that the delay would harm their goal of having the former president removed from the ballot.

"Waiting until the U.S. Supreme Court issues its order only compresses the time that the Oregon Supreme Court may have to resolve the issues that may remain if the U.S. Supreme Court does not fully resolve all the issues in this case," the group said.

As for Trump, who had intervened in the case and argued both that the voters lacked standing to sue for his removal as well as that courts lacked the authority to decide ballot eligibility matters, a spokesman for his campaign, Steven Cheung, said in a statement, "Today's decision in Oregon was the correct one."

"President Trump urges the swift dismissal of all remaining, bad-faith, election interference 14th Amendment ballot challenges as they are un-Constitutional attempts by allies of Crooked Joe Biden to disenfranchise millions of American voters and deny them their right to vote for the candidate of their choice," Cheung added. "President Trump will continue to fight these desperate shams, win in November, and Make America Great Again."

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