Trump can remain on Republican primary ballot in Michigan, judge rules | ET REALITY


A state judge in Michigan has partially rejected an attempt to disqualify former President Donald J. Trump from running for president in the state, ruling that Trump will remain on the ballot in the Republican primary and that the state’s top elections official does not have the sole authority to exclude him from the vote.

But the judge appeared to leave the door open for a future battle over Trump’s eligibility as a candidate in the general election, saying the issue “is not ripe for trial at this time.”

The ruling marks a preliminary victory for Trump in a national battle over his eligibility to run for president again, even as he faces a wave of legal scrutiny in other cases, including 91 felony charges in four different jurisdictions.

Plaintiffs across the country have argued that Trump is ineligible to hold office again under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which disqualifies anyone who “engages in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution after having been sworn in. to support her, citing her efforts. to annul the 2020 elections.

These efforts have materialized as Trump engages in increasingly dark rhetoric that critics say echoes that of fascist dictators, vowing to eradicate his political opponents as if they were “vermin.”

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump’s 2024 campaign, said in a statement that the campaign welcomed the ruling and “anticipates future dismissals of the other 14th Amendment cases.”

Judge James Robert Redford of the Michigan Court of Claims said disqualification of a candidate through the 14th Amendment “is a non-justiciable political question” and that it was up to Congress, not the courts, to resolve the matter.

In his 26-page ruling In the Trump case, Judge Redford explained that the disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment presented complex issues (for example, what constitutes an insurrection or rebellion) that were ultimately not appropriate to resolve in court.

Judge Redford’s order ended a lawsuit Trump had filed against Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state. Benson had previously refused to disqualify Trump, but her lawyers argued that she had created “uncertainty” about her eligibility for the ballot while efforts were underway in the state to disqualify him.

“I am pleased that today’s court rulings confirm my position that, under Michigan law, any person generally advocated by the national media to be a candidate for the Republican or Democratic nomination for president must appear on the ballot of our February 2024 primary,” Ms. Benson said in a statement.

Disqualification efforts in Michigan included two cases seeking court orders that would force Benson to disqualify Trump. Judge Redford also ruled in those cases Tuesday, denying the plaintiffs’ requests.

The plaintiffs in one of those cases, LaBrant v. BensonHe said they would appeal the ruling.

Disqualification efforts have also been rejected in other states. The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a similar petition last week. And a case in New Hampshire was also dismissed last month.

The sentences in these cases will not be final. They will almost certainly be appealed by the losing side, and the Supreme Court (which has a 6-3 conservative majority, including three Trump-appointed justices) is likely to have the final say.

Maggie Astor contributed with reports.

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