MINNEAPOLIS — A group of Minnesota voters filed a legal challenge Tuesday to block former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state's presidential ballot next year.
The petition, filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court, argues that Trump is disqualified from public office under the rarely used “insurrection clause” of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The petitioners, including Democratic former Minnesota Secretary of State Joan Growe, argue that anyone who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and then engages in insurrection is barred from ever holding public office again.
It's the latest in what's expected to be a series of similar challenges being filed by liberal groups across the country over Trump's to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden and his alleged support for the assault of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. A lawsuit was also filed in Colorado last Thursday. The legal challenges appear destined to end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“There is no legal basis for these claims to hold up in any legitimate court of law,” the Trump campaign said in a statement Tuesday that urges New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan not to bar him from the ballot. “The opinions of those perpetuating this fraud against the will of the people are nothing more than a blatant attempt to affront democracy and disenfranchise all voters and the former President.”
The Office of Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon responded to the petition Tuesday afternoon, writing in part that "For the sake of Minnesota’s voters, we hope the court resolves this issue to allow for the orderly administration of the elections in 2024."
Last week, Secretary Simon said in a statement last week that his office does not have the legal authority to investigate a candidate's eligibility for office but will honor the outcome of court challenges.
"In the case of presidential candidates, the major political parties will submit names of candidates to our office for the Presidential Nomination Primary by January 2, 2024. Those submissions will appear on the ballot for the March 5, 2024 contest unless a court says otherwise. A similar process and presumption will apply to the November 5, 2024 election," Simon's statement continued.
"Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. 204B.44) allows one or more people to challenge in court the eligibility of a candidate to appear on a ballot. Our office will continue to honor the outcome of that process, as we have in the past.”
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