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 November 4, 2023

Attempt to keep Trump off 2024 ballots on life support after Minnesota Supreme Court pans idea

It appears that the attempt to keep former President Donald Trump off of Minnesota's 2024 ballots has run into a roadblock in the form of the Minnesota Supreme Court. 

The Associated Press reports that the justices of this court "appeared skeptical" about the effort.

Per the outlet:

Minnesota Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical Thursday that states have the authority to block former President Donald Trump from the ballot, with some suggesting that Congress is best positioned to decide whether his role in the 2021 U.S. Capitol attack should prevent him from running.

The Associated Press's report comes after the justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court, this week, heard oral arguments in the case.

This case is one of several cases from around the country in which anti-Trump groups are attempting to invoked Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to disqualify Trump from running for the presidency in 2024.

The relevant part of this amendment, states:

No person shall . . . hold any office . . . under the United States . . . who, having previously taken an oath . . . to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

The argument is that Trump took such an oath when he became president in 2016 and that he "engaged in insurrection" on Jan. 6, 2021.

Legal experts have criticized the argument, claiming that it is a rather egregious misreading of the U.S. Constitution.

Attorney Alan Dershowitz - a constitutional expert and a Democrat - has argued:

A fair reading of the text and history of the 14th Amendment makes it relatively clear, however, that the disability provision was intended to apply to those who served the Confederacy during the Civil War. It wasn’t intended as a general provision empowering one party to disqualify the leading candidate of the other party in any future elections.

It appears that the justices of Minnesota's Supreme Court are leaning towards ruling against the Minnesota group that is trying to keep Trump off of the state's 2024 ballots.

The Associated Press reports:

Justices sharply questioned an attorney representing Minnesota voters who had sued . . . Citing Congress’ role in certifying presidential electors and its ability to impeach, several justices said it seemed that questions of eligibility should be settled there.

This does not necessarily mean that the justices will rule in this manner. But, given what we have seen this week, they probably will.

It is expected that, at some point, this particular issue - of whether Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment can be used to disqualify Trump in 2024 - will make it to the U.S. Supreme Court. Thus far, though, the court has ignored the issue, letting it play out in the lower courts.

If it does make it to the Supreme Court, it would be hard to imagine that the court's conservative majority would allow the Fourteenth Amendment argument to stand.

Written By:
Oliver Winters

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