Judge rules Trump can stay on Michigan ballot, rejects insurrection clause challenge

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A Michigan judge ruled former President Trump can remain on the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot, rejecting an attempt to remove him with a Civil War-era Constitutional clause.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge James Redford rejected arguments made by activist groups that claimed Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on the U.S. Capitol meant he was ineligible for the presidency.

Similar lawsuits have popped up in Colorado and Minnesota. The challenge in Minnesota was dismissed by the state Supreme Court last week, with justices arguing that the primary process is an internal party election and does not place the candidate on the general ballot or as president of the United States. There is no state statute that prohibits a political party from placing a nomination on the ballot, they ruled.

The Colorado case is expected to have its closing arguments Wednesday and the judge is expected to make her decision by Friday.

In Michigan, Redford wrote that because Trump followed state law by qualifying for the primary ballot, he can’t be removed, The Associated Press reported.

It should be up to Congress to decide whether Trump can be disqualified, the judge argued.

Congress could decide if a person is disqualified under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which states no person who has engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the government can run for elected office.

Deciding if an event is deemed a “rebellion or insurrection or whether or not someone participated in it” is best left to Congress and not “one single judicial officer,” Redford said.

One judge can’t “embody the represented qualified of every citizen of the nation” the same way that the House of Representatives and the Senate do.

According to the AP, Free Speech for People, the group that filed the suits, is going to immediately appeal the decision.

The Hill has reached out to the activism group and the Trump campaign for comment.

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