Minnesota court dismisses 14th Amendment case seeking to block Trump from primary ballot

Minnesota court dismisses 14th Amendment case seeking to block Trump from primary ballot

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that former President Donald Trump can appear on the state’s Republican primary ballots, dismissing a lawsuit that argued he should be barred for violating the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause.

“There is no state statute that prohibits a major political party from placing on the presidential nomination primary ballot, or sending delegates to the national convention supporting, a candidate who is ineligible to hold office,” Chief Justice Natalie E. Hudson wrote in a four-page opinion. 

The order, however, left the door open to a potential 14th Amendment challenge to Trump’s possible appearance on general election ballots in the state, noting that the petitioners would not be stopped from “bringing a petition raising their claims as to the general election.”

The 14th Amendment’s “Disqualification Clause” bars any person who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution from holding federal or state office.


Donald Trump
The Trump campaign slammed 14th Amendment challenges to Trump’s candidacy as “un-Constitutional attempts to interfere with the election.”
Getty Images

Person in Make America Great Again hat
The court signaled that a legal challenge to Trump’s potential appearance on general election ballots would be considered.
REUTERS

The seldom-used clause was included in the post-Civil War 14th Amendment as a means to prevent former Confederate officials from becoming elected officials and taking over state governments and the federal government. 

The liberal non-profit behind the Minnesota lawsuit, Free Speech for People, cited the 14th Amendment and Trump’s actions surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol as the basis for the 77-year-old’s White House ineligibility. 

The decision “is further validation of the Trump Campaign’s consistent argument that the 14th Amendment ballot challenges are nothing more than strategic, un-Constitutional attempts to interfere with the election,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told CNN in a statement. 

Similar 14th Amendment lawsuits against Trump have been filed in Colorado, New Hampshire and Michigan as well. 

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