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Trump allowed to remain on the Michigan primary ballot, judges rule

Former President Donald Trump will be allowed to appear on the 2024 Michigan GOP primary ballot, but the court case could drag on.
Former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives at a commit to caucus rally
Posted at 10:16 AM, Dec 27, 2023

Former President Donald Trump will be allowed to remain on the 2024 Michigan GOP presidential primary ballot after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in Trump's favor on Wednesday.

The ruling differs from a ruling in Colorado, which agreed to remove Trump from the state's presidential ballot. 

In both cases, judges had to consider whether state election officials had the authority to remove a candidate based on the 14th Amendment's insurrection clause. The amendment, which was ratified three years after the end of the Civil War, says that those who "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the U.S. are disqualified from state or federal office. 

The Michigan Supreme Court issued the ruling by a 6-1 margin. The court comprises four Democrats and three Republicans.

In the Michigan case, voter Robert Davis filed a suit challenging Trump's qualifications based on the 14th Amendment's insurrection clause. 

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A lower court denied Davis, explaining that Trump should be allowed to go through the state's party nominating process. Michigan courts, however, held open the possibility they would reconsider the case if Trump were to appear on the state's general election ballot. 

In the ruling, Michigan judges said it would be irrelevant at this stage to rule if Trump had engaged in an insurrection. 

Davis and the plaintiffs argued that Trump's actions on and before Jan. 6, 2021, constituted an insurrection against the U.S. Trump protested the results of the 2020 presidential election naming Joe Biden as the winner and held a rally moments before his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol during the counting of Electoral College votes, disrupting the proceedings. 

In August, a federal grand jury charged Trump on multiple charges related to alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. 

@scrippsnews The #Michigan Supreme Court has rejected an attempt to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 primary ballot. This comes after the #Colorado Supreme Court declared #Trump ineligible for the presidency, citing the 14th Amendment's insurrection clause. #SupremeCourt ♬ original sound - Scripps News