A progressive advocacy group on Friday filed a lawsuit on behalf of Michigan voters seeking to bar former U.S. President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 presidential ballot, arguing his role in inciting the deadly January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection constitutionally bars him from holding public office.
Free Speech for People filed the suit, which contends that Trump—currently the front runner for the 2024 GOP nomination—is disqualified from holding public office under a constitutional provision known as the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause.
We've filed a lawsuit in Michigan challenging Donald Trump's candidacy under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
— FreeSpeechForPeople (@FSFP) September 29, 2023
As the group explains:
Enacted in the wake of the Civil War, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment disqualifies from public office any individual who has taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution but then engages in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or gives aid or comfort to its enemies. No prior criminal conviction is required. Trump’s involvement in the violent attack on Congress to prevent the certification of election results, which resulted in the disruption of the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in our nation’s history, disqualifies him from holding any future public office. State election officials do not need permission from Congress to enforce the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause, just as they do not need congressional approval to enforce the U.S. Constitution in general.
“Donald Trump violated his oath of office and incited a violent insurrection that attacked the U.S. Capitol, threatened the assassination of the vice president and congressional leaders, and disrupted the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in our nation’s history,” Free Speech for People legal director Ron Fein said in a statement.
“Our predecessors understood that oath-breaking insurrectionists will do it again, and worse, if allowed back into power, so they enacted the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause to protect the republic from people like Trump,” Fein continued. “Trump is legally barred from the ballot and election officials must follow this constitutional mandate.”
FSFP Counsel Amira Mattar Discusses the Trump Is Disqualified Campaign on @yesmagazine presents: Rising Up With Sonali.
— FreeSpeechForPeople (@FSFP) September 28, 2023
Mark Brewer, an attorney for Free Speech for People, said that “the United States Constitution makes Donald Trump ineligible to run for or serve in any public office in the country, let alone president.”
“All Michigan voters, including the plaintiffs, have a well-established right to have only eligible candidates on the ballot” he added. “Since Secretary of State [Jocelyn] Benson has announced that Trump will be on the primary ballot unless a court orders otherwise, we are seeking a court order preventing Trump from being on the ballot.”
Trump is also under federal indictment for his efforts to overturn his 2020 loss.
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