Updated Dec 27, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Michigan Supreme Court rejects bid to remove Trump from 2024 primary ballot

Former President Trump speaks during a campaign event at Drake Enterprises in Clinton Township, Michigan. Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Michigan's Supreme Court rejected an attempt to keep former President Trump off the 2024 primary ballot Wednesday, upholding a lower court ruling.

Why it matters: The decision in a battleground state contrasts with a recent Colorado ruling that removed Trump from the state's ballot.

  • In both cases, Trump's removal from the ballot was sought via a section of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment, also known as the "insurrectionist ban."
  • The clause prohibits anyone who swore an oath to the U.S. and then "engaged in insurrection" against the country from holding public office.
  • The clause was used against ex-Confederates following the Civil War, and has only been used once since 1919, but never to a presidential candidate.

Details: Colorado and Michigan election laws differ, the opinion said.

  • No provision in Michigan Election Law requires someone seeking the presidency "to attest to their legal qualification to hold the office," the court said.
  • The ruling reflects those from lower courts, both of which said that Michigan's court system had no place in deciding if a candidate qualified for a ballot.
  • "At the moment, the only event about to occur is the presidential primary election. But as explained, whether Trump is disqualified is irrelevant to his placement on that particular ballot," the panel of three Michigan Court of Appeals judges for the case wrote in their ruling.
  • The Michigan Supreme Court opinion was not signed by any of the judges, and the court did not release a vote count.

Zoom out: The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear whether Trump can be on Colorado's primary ballot.

  • Lawsuits regarding Trump's ballot eligibility have been filed in state courts in Oregon, New Jersey and Wisconsin as well as federal district courts in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, New York, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with details throughout.

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