Michigan Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Bar Trump from 2024 Primaries

The Supreme Court of Michigan has rejected the request of the voters in that American state to assess whether there is room to prevent Donald Trump from participating in the 2024 Republican primaries for the President of the United States

by Sededin Dedovic
Michigan Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Bar Trump from 2024 Primaries
© Scott Olson / Getty Images

The Michigan Supreme Court rejected a request by voters in the state to evaluate Donald Trump's eligibility to participate in the Republican primary for the 2024 US presidential election. The initiative's investors invoked the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, arguing that public office holders who participated in the riots at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, should be barred from running for office.

The 14th Amendment, which bars individuals engaged in rebellion against the US from seeking public office, has been a focal point in various legal challenges against Trump. Recently, the Colorado Supreme Court disqualified Trump from running for president in 2024 based on the same clause.

Michigan, a battleground state with a history of swinging between Republicans and Democrats, narrowly supported Trump in 2016 and swung toward Biden in 2020. However, the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the initiative at an early stage, unlike its counterpart in Colorado.

Pathetic gambling and election rigging

While Trump celebrated the decision on his social media platform True Social, calling the rejected initiative a "pathetic gambit to rig the election," advocates saw the ruling as narrow and technical.

Free Speech for the People, an organization that appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court in September, clarified that the ruling only applies to Trump's participation in the Republican primaries, not the presidential election itself.

Ron Fein, the organization's legal director, suggested the disqualification issue could be revisited at a later stage. Lower courts in Michigan have declined to address the issue on procedural grounds, avoiding an examination of whether the riot at the Capitol qualifies as a riot and whether Trump played a role in it.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Welch pointed to differences between Michigan law and Colorado law. The appellants "have not identified any analogous provision in the Michigan Election Code that requires a person seeking the office of President of the United States to establish his or her legal qualification to serve in that office," she wrote in the statement.

While the decision brought temporary relief for Trump, the possibility of a retrial of the disqualification looms, leaving the door open for further legal challenges in the future.

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