Rejected challenge to Trump appearing on the Republican primary ballot on procedural grounds – that the insurrection clause doesn’t even arguably apply to primary ballots, so it is premature. Contrary to how some are spinning it, this is not a ruling on the merits, it just punts the issue to another day.
There are several challenges around the country asserting that Donald Trump should be barred from appearing on presidential ballots under the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment.
The Minnesota Supreme Court just rejected a challenge to Trump appearing on the Republican primary ballot on procedural grounds – that the insurrection clause doesn’t even arguably apply to primary ballots, so it is premature. Contrary to how some are spinning it, this is not a ruling on the merits, it just punts the issue to another day.
From the Order (emphasis added):
With respect to the only ripe issue before us at this time, we conclude that under section 204B.44, there is no “error” to correct here as to the presidential primary election if former President Trump’s name is included on the presidential primary ballot after the Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota provides his name to the Secretary of State, notwithstanding petitioners’ claim that former President Trump is disqualified from holding office under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Legislature enacted the presidential nomination primary process to allow major political parties to select delegates to the national conventions of those parties; at those conventions the selected delegates will cast votes along with delegates from all of the other states and territories and choose a presidential candidate who will subsequently appear on general election ballots. See Minn. Stat. § 207A.11(d) (2022) (explaining that the presidential nomination primary “only applies to a major political party that selects delegates at the presidential nomination primary to send to a national convention”). This is “a process that allows political parties to obtain voter input in advance of a nomination decision made at a national convention.” De La Fuente v. Simon, 940 N.W.2d 477, 492 (Minn. 2020). Thus, although the Secretary of State and other election officials administer the mechanics of the election, this is an internal party election to serve internal party purposes, and winning the presidential nomination primary does not place the person on the general election ballot as a candidate for President of the United States…. And there is no state statute that prohibits a major political party from placing on the presidential nomination primary ballot, or sending delegates to the national convention supporting, a candidate who is ineligible to hold office.
Because there is no error to correct here as to the presidential nomination primary, and petitioners’ other claims regarding the general election are not ripe, the petition must be dismissed, but without prejudice as to petitioners bringing a petition raising their claims as to the general election.
What this means is that any ultimate resolution, at least in Minnesota, is delayed until after the primary.
So what do I think will ultimately happen as to these challenges? Funny you should ask. Yesterday I was on Chicago’s Morning Answer with Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson (no relation), and the issue came up, sandwiched in between a discussion of the Trump civil trial in NY and the Cornell antisemitism problem:
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