Swing State’s Supreme Court Rejects Bid To Kick Trump Off Primary Ballot
Former US President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump gestures while speaking at Drake Enterprises, an automotive parts manufacturer and supplier, in Clinton, Michigan, on September 27, 2023.
(Photo by MATTHEW HATCHER/AFP via Getty Images)

The Michigan Supreme Court refused a liberal group’s effort to remove Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential primary ballot on Wednesday, roughly a week after Colorado’s high court ruled against the former president in a similar case.

A brief order said the Michigan justices “are not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court,” rejecting the challenge from Free Speech For The People that seeks to disqualify Trump based on the view that he engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021.

The application sought to challenge the Michigan Court of Appeals decision that left the issue of primary ballot access up to the Republican Party but declined to rule on whether Trump is qualified to be on the general election ballot because he has not won the GOP nomination.

One of the Michigan Supreme Court justices, Elizabeth Welch, wrote in an opinion that the lower-court ruling “still allows appellants to renew their legal efforts as to the Michigan general election later in 2024 should Trump become the Republican nominee for President of the United States or seek such office as an independent candidate.”

Free Speech For The People, the left-wing organization that brought the lawsuit with election lawyer Mark Brewer of Goodman Acker P.C. on behalf of a group of voters, signaled that it will not back down in its legal endeavors to remove Trump from the ballot in Michigan and in other states. The efforts hinge on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which has been widely interpreted as an effort to block former officials who joined the Confederacy from returning to public office after the Civil War.

“The decision isn’t binding on any court outside Michigan and we continue our current and planned legal actions in other states to enforce Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment against Donald Trump,” said Free Speech For People legal director Ron Fein.


“The Court’s decision is disappointing but we will continue, at a later stage, to seek to uphold this critical constitutional provision designed to protect our republic,” Brewer added in a statement. “Trump led a rebellion and insurrection against the Constitution when he tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election and he is disqualified from ever seeking or holding public office again.”

Other Section 3 legal challenges against Trump have been filed in other states. Some have been dismissed while others remain ongoing, a Lawfare tracker shows. Only the Colorado case has resulted in Trump being kicked off the primary ballot. Trump’s campaign vowed to “swiftly file an appeal” to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Colorado high court’s ruling has been placed on hold until at least January 4 pending further proceedings.

“The Michigan Supreme Court has strongly and rightfully denied the Desperate Democrat attempt to take the leading Candidate in the 2024 Presidential Election, me, off the ballot in the Great State of Michigan,” Trump said in post to Truth Social on Wednesday. “This pathetic gambit to rig the Election has failed all across the Country, including in States that have historically leaned heavily toward the Democrats. Colorado is the only State to have fallen prey to the scheme.”

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