Secretary of State says courts need to decide Trump ballot lawsuit

Secretary of State Steve Simon says courts need to decide Trump ballot lawsuit

Secretary of State Steve Simon says courts need to decide Trump ballot lawsuit

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, along with the Republican Party of Minnesota, is named in a lawsuit aimed at keeping former President Donald Trump off the state election ballot in 2024. 

Earlier this month, a lawsuit was filed by several Minnesotans claiming, “Donald J. Trump, through his words and actions, after swearing an oath as an officer of the United States to support the Constitution, engaged in insurrection or rebellion, or gave aid and comfort to its enemies, as defined by Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

The suit claims those actions occurred on Jan. 6, 2021, in the aftermath of his election loss to President Joe Biden.

Simon, a Democrat, is named as a respondent because of his role in overseeing election regulations in Minnesota. The Minnesota Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in the case on Nov. 2 but ordered Simon and the Republican Party to file responses by Sept. 27.

“We’re not going to have a meaningful response on the merits,” Simon told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Friday. “We’re not going to take a side in this lawsuit, whether former President Trump is or isn’t ineligible, but what we will double down on is saying to the court, that it is the court’s job. That it isn’t our job to make that determination.”

Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states. However, Simon says this issue isn’t likely to be resolved at the state level.

“One way or another I think that this probably, if any state says that it agrees with this legal, there’s no question in my mind it will end up in the laps of the U.S. Supreme Court justices in Washington, DC,” Simon said in an interview recorded for “At Issue with Tom Hauser.”

Minnesota GOP party chair David Hann last week previewed the GOP response:

“The Republican Party of Minnesota believes that voters in Minnesota should ultimately decide through voting which candidates are qualified to represent them in public office. The Minnesota Supreme Court should reject this fringe legal theory which is purposefully designed to prevent voters from having a voice in our elections.”

A special counsel has charged Trump with four counts related to the 2020 elections and his alleged role in the rebellion at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. However, a trial isn’t scheduled in that case until next year. Trump denies any wrongdoing.