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Activists Escalate Trump’s 14th Amendment Battle to Michigan Supreme Court

On Thursday, an advocacy group championing liberal causes escalated their legal battle in Michigan, challenging a recent court decision. The group, Free Speech for People, had previously sought legal action to prevent former President Trump from appearing on the presidential ballot, citing his alleged connection to the events of January 6 at the Capitol. They argued that this involvement violated the 14th Amendment, rendering him ineligible for office.

Their lawsuit, initiated in September against the state of Michigan, was dismissed by a lower court last month. The court reasoned that a challenge based on the 14th Amendment was not applicable during the primary phase of an election. Undeterred, the group is now seeking to take their case directly to the Michigan Supreme Court. They’ve requested an “emergency application” to bypass the standard route through the state Appeals Court, citing the urgent need to finalize primary ballots.

The filing by the plaintiffs emphasizes the likelihood of any decision by the Court of Appeals being subject to further appeal, stressing the time-sensitive nature of the electoral process. They argue that there isn’t sufficient time for deliberations by both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

This Michigan lawsuit is among three notable nationwide attempts to leverage the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause to exclude Trump from state presidential ballots. In each case, the plaintiffs assert that Trump’s role in the January 6 Capitol riots falls under this clause, originally conceived to bar individuals who supported the Confederacy from holding presidential office.

Should state courts concur with the plaintiffs’ arguments and remove Trump from any ballot, the matter is expected to ultimately reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, similar efforts have seen varied outcomes in other states. The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a similar lawsuit earlier this month, and a trial is currently underway in Colorado, with a decision anticipated soon.