Minnesota’s Supreme Court Examines Efforts to Bar Trump from 2024 Ballot

by Michael Nguyen
fokus keyword: Minnesota Supreme Court

The endeavor to leverage the Constitution’s “insurrection” clause to preclude former President Donald Trump from pursuing the presidency again shifted its focus to Minnesota. On Thursday, oral deliberations took place before the state’s Supreme Court. Concurrently, a similar legal case is being examined in Colorado.

These cases are part of a series of lawsuits initiated nationwide with the intent of barring Trump from appearing on the 2024 state ballots, due to his involvement in the events of January 6, 2021. This day witnessed an assault on the U.S. Capitol aimed at interrupting Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Of these lawsuits, the Minnesota and Colorado cases are most advanced, and either or both might be escalated to the U.S. Supreme Court, an institution yet to settle this matter.

At the heart of the argument is Section Three of the 14th Amendment. It posits that any individual who, having once sworn to support the Constitution, subsequently partakes in insurrection against it, should be barred from holding office.

In the ongoing Minnesota litigation, plaintiffs are urging the supreme judicial body of the state to pronounce Trump as ineligible. They seek a directive to the secretary of state to exclude him from the ballot of the state’s primary scheduled for March 5. The idea of the court mandating an evidentiary hearing has also been floated, suggesting more proceedings and potentially stalling a definitive conclusion, a move Trump’s legal representatives contest.

The petitioners have characterized the January 6 events as aligning with Section 3’s definition of insurrection: a violent, coordinated act designed to obstruct constitutional processes and unlawfully prolong Trump’s presidential term.

On the contrary, Trump’s legal team, in their documentation, conceded that the appropriateness of Trump’s candidacy has been a prominent point of contention in recent national discourse. However, they contest the characterization of January 6 events as insurrection in the context of the Constitution. They underline that Trump, the former Republican president, hasn’t been officially accused of insurrection. Nonetheless, he is confronting state and federal charges pertaining to his efforts to contest his 2020 electoral defeat by Democrat Joe Biden.

The central contention from Trump’s side is that neither Minnesota law nor the federal statute grants judicial bodies the authority to remove him from the ballot. They also argue the applicability of the insurrection clause to the presidency.

The insurrection clause’s verbiage doesn’t explicitly cite the presidency but alludes to “elector of president and vice president.” This ambiguity was a focal point in the Colorado case, where expert testimony suggested the clause’s intention to encompass presidential candidates.

Given the scarcity of relevant case law, both parties are resorting to precedents dating back nearly a century and a half. The 14th Amendment was legislated by Congress in 1866, post-Civil War, and received ratification two years subsequently.

Thursday’s session in the Minnesota Supreme Court was allocated just over sixty minutes for oral presentations. Representations will be made by counsel for both the petitioners and the opposition, which includes Trump, the Republican Party of Minnesota, and the current Secretary of State, Steve Simon.

The Minnesota lawsuit was initiated by the organization Free Speech For People, whereas the Colorado case is attributed to another well-resourced, established entity, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. While in Colorado, ballot objections initially face a judicial hearing before potential elevation to the state Supreme Court, Minnesota’s protocol directs them straight to the apex court.

Simon, serving as the secretary of state, has requested an expedited verdict to provide directives to regional election administrators regarding the impending March primary by January 5 at the latest.

Report by Riccardi from Denver.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: Minnesota Supreme Court

What is the central issue being deliberated by the Minnesota Supreme Court?

The Minnesota Supreme Court is examining the applicability of the Constitution’s “insurrection” clause to prevent former President Donald Trump from running for the presidency again in 2024.

Why is the “insurrection” clause of the Constitution relevant in this context?

The “insurrection” clause, specifically Section Three of the 14th Amendment, posits that any individual who has sworn to uphold the Constitution and then partakes in insurrection against it should be barred from holding office. The events of January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol are being assessed in this context.

Are there other states besides Minnesota examining this issue?

Yes, similar legal cases are being examined in other states, with Colorado being notably mentioned as having a concurrent case.

What do the plaintiffs in the Minnesota case want?

The plaintiffs are urging the state’s supreme court to pronounce Trump ineligible and seek a directive to the secretary of state to exclude him from the state’s March 5 primary ballot.

How does Trump’s legal team view the events of January 6, 2021?

Trump’s legal team contests the characterization of the January 6 events as an insurrection in the constitutional sense. They emphasize that Trump hasn’t been officially accused of insurrection, though he faces charges for efforts to contest his 2020 electoral defeat.

Who initiated the Minnesota and Colorado lawsuits?

The Minnesota lawsuit was initiated by the organization Free Speech For People, while the Colorado case is attributed to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

More about fokus keyword: Minnesota Supreme Court

  • 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
  • Events of January 6, 2021
  • Colorado Supreme Court’s Deliberations on Insurrection Clause
  • Free Speech For People Organization
  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

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Mike L. November 2, 2023 - 6:54 pm

can’t believe this is still going on. Thought we moved past January 6th events?

Derek H November 2, 2023 - 9:16 pm

Honestly, politics these days… don’t know up from down. Just want some clarity.

Sarah P November 3, 2023 - 12:48 am

So, its the Minnesota Supreme court now. wonder if other states will follow suit or if they wait for the outcome here.

Greg T. November 3, 2023 - 4:15 am

trump’s legal team always has a way out, don’t they? seems like they have a point about the insurrection definition though.

Annie W November 3, 2023 - 7:35 am

who even knows about the 14th amendment before all this? feel like i’m getting a history lesson every time i read these updates.


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