A Michigan judge ruled on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump can stay on the state’s presidential primary ballot, rejecting a challenge that sought to disqualify him under the 14th Amendment’s “Insurrectionist Ban.”
The lawsuit, filed by a group of voters, argued that Trump’s actions leading up to and on January 6, 2021, amounted to an “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States government and therefore disqualified him from holding office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
The plaintiffs’ claims were dismissed by Judge Jane Cunningham Cook on the grounds that they had not satisfied their burden of proof. The plaintiffs had not demonstrated that Trump had “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” as that term is defined under the 14th Amendment, she ruled.
Cook’s ruling is a win for Trump and his allies, who maintain that they are exempt from the Insurrectionist Ban of the Fourteenth Amendment. Additionally, they contend that the push to remove Trump from the ballot is a politically driven attempt to muzzle his voice.
The plaintiffs have sworn to challenge Cook’s ruling on appeal. They contend that Trump’s acts unmistakably qualify as rebellion and that she misinterpreted the 14th Amendment.
It’s uncertain if the plaintiffs will prevail in their appeal. The Insurrectionist Ban of the Fourteenth Amendment has never been construed by the Supreme Court, and opinions on its proper application are divided.
A major turning point in the legal dispute about Trump’s ability to run for president again is his victory in Michigan. Trump may present a significant threat to the Republican Party establishment if he is allowed to remain on the ballot in other states.
Trump is still up against a lot of legal obstacles in other states, though. Additionally, he is the subject of criminal investigations in a number of states, including Georgia and New York.
It’s still too soon to tell if Trump will be able to get over these legal obstacles and declare for the 2024 presidential election. But as seen by his win in Michigan, he remains a powerful force in American politics.