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Attempt to block Trump from ballot fails in Minnesota

President Donald J. Trump at the 450th mile of the new border wall, Jan. 12, 2021, near the Texas Mexico border. (Shealah Craighead/White House)
November 09, 2023

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled against an attempt to block former President Donald Trump from the Republican primary ballot in next year’s election based on the “insurrectionist ban” under the 14th Amendment.

In Wednesday’s ruling, signed by Chief Justice Natalie Hudson, the court noted that the petition to remove Trump from the GOP primary election was “dismissed” in order to prevent the “orderly election process” from being impaired. However, the court explained that Wednesday’s ruling did not pertain to next November’s general election ballot.

“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,” Chief Justice Natalie Hudson stated.

The 14th Amendment, which was officially ratified following the Civil War, states that U.S. officials who take an oath to defend the Constitution are banned from holding office if they “engaged in insurrection.” However, according to CNN, the 14th Amendment has only been used twice since 1919 to prevent officials from holding office. Additionally, the Constitution does not clearly state how the ban is to be enforced.

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The former president celebrated Wednesday’s ruling on social media, claiming that the ballot challenge was merely a “hoax.”

“Ridiculous 14th Amendment lawsuit just thrown out by Minnesota Supreme Court. ‘Without Merit, Unconstitutional,'” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “Congratulations to all who fought this HOAX!”

According to The Associated Press, the legal challenge to prevent Trump from appearing on the GOP primary ballot in Minnesota was filed by a liberal organization called Free Speech for People, which is actively campaigning to prevent Trump from running in the 2024 presidential election.

In response to the court’s decision on Wednesday, Free Speech For People’s legal director, Ron Fein, stated, “We are disappointed by the court’s decision. 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. The decision isn’t binding on any court outside Minnesota and we continue our current and planned legal actions in other states to enforce Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment against Donald Trump.”

According to NBC News, Free Speech For People is also currently challenging Trump’s ballot eligibility in Michigan.

Responding to Wednesday’s court ruling, Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesperson, claimed the decision “is 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.” Cheung added that any future ballot challenges against Trump based on the 14th Amendment “should be summarily thrown out wherever they next arise.”

While Wednesday’s ruling allows Trump to remain on the 2024 GOP ballot in Minnesota’s primary elections, Minnesota’s Supreme Court did not rule out the possibility of a ballot challenge against Trump in next year’s general election, despite Trump’s lawyers arguing that the case should be completely thrown out and that Trump’s name should appear on both the primary and general election ballots, according to CNN.