Judge Rejects Effort To Remove Trump From Michigan Ballots

Activist groups in a number of states, most notably Colorado, have been pursuing a plan to remove former President Donald Trump’s name from ballots in the upcoming presidential election, citing a constitutional amendment with ties to the Civil War in their argument.

The strategy has been widely dismissed by many legal experts, and a judge recently dismissed a long-shot effort to convince Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state to preclude Trump from being listed on ballots alongside other Republican presidential primary candidates.

As Michigan Court of Claims Judge James Robert Redford determined in his recent decision, state law mandates that all candidates in the primary race must be listed. For her part, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has acknowledged that she does not have the authority to prevent any candidate from appearing on ballots, essentially upholding Redford’s conclusion that only Congress can enforce such a prohibition.

That has not stopped the anti-Trump plaintiffs like Robert Davis, who complained that the judge “dodged the issue,” vowing to continue fighting to see the GOP front-runner removed from Michigan’s ballots.

“We’re very disappointed and we’re appealing immediately,” said Mark Brewer, a former state Democratic Party chair representing plaintiffs in a related case. “[Redford] avoided a ruling on the merits. He’s basically saying there’s no role for the courts in making this decision. We think he’s wrong and we’ll be explaining that to the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court.”

Trump’s legal team appears prepared to make their case against activists in Michigan and elsewhere who claim the then-president violated the 14th amendment by inciting an insurrection in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.

For starters, his attorneys have argued that the “oath” mentioned in the Constitution that activists insist Trump failed to uphold is not the same as the one he took during his inauguration. Furthermore, they cite the amendment itself, which does not list the presidency among the offices subject to disqualification.

Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung dismissed the Michigan cases and others across the U.S. as “left-wing fantasies,” adding: “While the Trump campaign welcomes these dismissals and anticipates the future dismissals of the other 14th Amendment cases, we are most focused on once again winning the great state of Michigan and the re-election of President Trump next year.”