Minnesota Supreme Court could revisit effort to block Trump from ballot if he wins nomination

Three months after rejecting an effort to block former President Donald Trump from state ballots, the Minnesota Supreme Court has released its explanation behind the ruling and also left open the possibility of revisiting the case if Trump is chosen as the Republican Party’s nominee.

A group of Minnesota voters petitioned the court back in September, arguing that Trump should be blocked from ballots because the 14th Amendment’s “Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause” bars him from holding public office due to his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

On Nov. 8, the state’s highest court ruled primaries are an “internal party election” and there isn’t any state law preventing parties from putting candidates on the primary ballot. Therefore, the justices dismissed the case but allowed the group to refile the case if it found a better argument. However, the long brief explaining the court’s opinion, which typically accompanies rulings, wasn’t released until Wednesday.

In that filing, the court reiterated its opinion as it pertains to the primary election but noted it didn’t rule on the voters’ claim in relation to the general election because it’s not ripe or “about to occur.” That leaves open the possibility that justices could revisit the case if Trump wins the Republican nomination.

The Republican National Convention is scheduled for July 15-18, and the party then has another six weeks to certify its nominee.

“History tells us that a lot may happen in this election between now and the national conventions,” the justices wrote in their opinion, adding that considering whether or not to remove Trump from the general election ballot now is still too “remote and hypothetical.”

The release of the court’s opinion comes a day before oral arguments are set to take place before the U.S. Supreme Court in Trump v. Anderson, the Colorado case related to efforts to block Trump from the ballot.

It’s the first time the insurrection clause has been used to try to disqualify a president from running for office again.

Trump’s attorneys have argued that the events on Jan. 6 didn’t meet the definition of an insurrection. Trump also hasn’t been convicted of an insurrection in any criminal case, although lawsuits contend that a conviction isn’t required by the clause.