Minnesota Supreme Court rejects effort to block Trump from 2024 ballot

Former President Donald Trump, who is running to reclaim the office, will be allowed to appear on state ballots in the 2024 election, the state’s high court ruled on Wednesday.

The Minnesota Supreme Court handed down the ruling a week after hearing arguments on the matter.

The justices’ order calls the nomination of a candidate “an internal party election” and adds that “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.”

Therefore, the justices dismissed the case, albeit without prejudice, meaning it could be refiled if a group finds a better argument.

Back in September, a group of Minnesota voters petitioned the court to block Trump from ballots, saying 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. It’s the first time the rarely used clause has been used to try to disqualify a president from running for office again, and other states have seen similar efforts.

Trump’s attorneys urged the court to dismiss the case, arguing 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 the group’s lawsuit contended that a conviction isn’t required.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said in September that his office had gotten “hundreds of emails, calls, and letters” about Trump’s eligibility and the 14th Amendment. He noted that his office doesn’t have the authority to keep any candidate off a ballot, saying that’s up to the courts.

There have also been questions over whether or not a state court was the right venue for the case since the president is a federal role, with some believing it’ll eventually make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Simon issued the following statement in response to the ruling:

“In just 72 days, on January 19, voters in Minnesota will begin to cast their ballot for the March 5 Presidential Nominating Primary. I’m grateful that the Minnesota Supreme Court acted quickly in this case to provide Minnesotans with certainty about who is eligible to appear on the ballot for that particular contest.

“The court has made it clear that former President Trump’s name will appear on the primary ballot, should the Republican party choose to submit him as a candidate. We respect this decision and will uphold the outcome.”