A Michigan judge on Tuesday dismissed an effort to keep former President Donald Trump off the state’s ballot in 2024.
The judge ruled that if a party decides to designate a candidate who is ineligible for the position, the secretary of state is not permitted by Michigan law to interfere in a primary election.
“The ultimate decision is made by the respective political party, with the consent of the listed candidate,” the judge wrote.
The decision comes after a group of Michigan voters in September filed a legal challenge to Trump’s candidacy, arguing that his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and his and conduct surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, making him ineligible for office
The judge ruled, “The respective political party, with the consent of the listed candidate, makes the ultimate decision.”
The ruling follows a legal challenge to Trump’s candidature filed in September by a group of Michigan voters who claimed that he was ineligible to hold office because of his actions in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election and his behaviour leading up to the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, which violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
“While our appeal is pending, the trial court’s decision isn’t binding on any other court, and we continue our current and planned legal actions in other states to enforce Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment against Donald Trump,” Fein, the legal director of Free Speech For People, said in a statement.
Tuesday’s ruling is another victory for Trump after the Minnesota Supreme Court this month dismissed a similar legal bid to keep him off the state’s primary ballot in 2024.
Trump has dismissed such efforts as “nonsense” and “election interference.”
Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesperson, welcomed the Michigan ruling.
“Each and every one of these ridiculous cases have LOST because they are all un-Constitutional left-wing fantasies orchestrated by monied allies of the Biden campaign seeking to turn the election over to the courts and deny the American people the right to choose their next president,” Cheung said in a statement, adding that he anticipated similar wins in other efforts to disqualify Trump’s candidacy on the basis of the 14th Amendment.
While they prepare state ballots for the Republican presidential primaries in Arizona, New Hampshire, and other states next year—where Trump is dominating in the polls among GOP contenders—top election officials in these states are also considering concerns akin to those expressed in Michigan.