The Minnesota Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit that aimed to bar former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state's Republican primary ballot. The court's ruling means that Trump will be allowed to stay on the ballot, and his candidacy for the presidency will continue.
The lawsuit, filed by the liberal group Free Speech For People, sought to utilize a rarely-used provision in the 14th Amendment that prohibits those who "engaged in insurrection" from holding public office. The plaintiffs argued that Trump's role in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol should disqualify him from running for the presidency.
However, the court dismissed the lawsuit, citing state law that allows political parties to choose their own candidates for the primary ballot. Chief Justice Natalie Hudson stated that there is no state statute that prohibits a major political party from nominating a candidate who is ineligible to hold office.
The court's decision effectively dodged the question of whether Trump's alleged role in the insurrection disqualifies him from the presidency. It also leaves the possibility open for plaintiffs to again attempt to disqualify Trump from the general election ballot in November, through similar legal action.
The Minnesota challenge was part of a series of lawsuits filed by Free Speech For People and another liberal group, all seeking to use the 14th Amendment's Section 3 to end Trump's candidacy in the Republican presidential primary. The ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court marks the first ruling on this issue, and it is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In response to the ruling, Trump posted on his social media platform, Truth Social, stating, "Ridiculous 14th Amendment lawsuit just thrown out by Minnesota Supreme Court. Congratulations to all who fought this HOAX!" The former president has consistently denied any involvement in the insurrection and has maintained that he won the 2020 election.
Legal experts predict that this issue will eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court, which has never ruled on the interpretation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. This provision was added to the Constitution after the Civil War to prevent former Confederate officials and members of Congress from holding public office.
The ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court is a significant win for Trump, as it allows him to continue his candidacy for the Republican nomination. However, the legal battle is far from over, and the ultimate decision regarding Trump's eligibility to run for president may be determined by the U.S. Supreme Court.
For now, the ruling has put an end to the question of Trump's presence on the Minnesota primary ballot, and his supporters can continue to rally behind him in his bid for the 2024 presidency. At the same time, his opponents will likely continue to pursue legal avenues to prevent him from running. The country will have to wait and see how this legal battle plays out in the coming months.