A trial in Minnesota of an effort to keep former President Donald Trump off the 2024 ballot is scheduled to begin Thursday in the state Supreme Court, as a similar case continues in Colorado.
The lawsuits in both states allege that Trump’s conduct leading up to the January 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol should bar him from the 2024 ballot. They argue that Trump’s efforts to change the results of the 2020 election violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that “persons engaged in insurrection or sedition” cannot hold office after taking an oath to support and defend the Constitution.
A group of Minnesota voters represented by the election reform group Free Speech for the People filed a lawsuit in September seeking to remove Trump from the state’s ballot under the 14th Amendment. Among the petitioners are former Secretary of State Joan Crowe and former Supreme Court Justice Paul H. Anderson included.
Plaintiffs in the Minnesota case are asking the state’s highest court to disqualify Trump from appearing on the ballot and for the secretary of state to bar him from the March presidential election ballot.
Trump is not named as a defendant in the suit. Instead, it named Secretary of State Steve Simon, a Democrat who had previously rejected letters of public opinion demanding action. Simon said his office does not have the authority to determine a candidate’s eligibility to run for office.
“For presidential candidates, the major political parties shall submit to our office the names of candidates for the presidential nomination by January 2, 2024. Unless the court orders otherwise, those submissions will appear on the ballot for the March 5, 2024 contest. ,” Simon said in a statement in September.
Ron Fine, a lawyer for the plaintiffs and legal director of Freedom of Speech for the People, said at the time that the legal action was necessary because Trump “incited a violent uprising that hit the U.S. capital and threatened to kill the vice president and leaders of Congress.” , and has disrupted the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in our nation’s history.
“Trump is legally barred from the ballot and election officials must follow this constitutional mandate,” Fein added.
Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment on the Minnesota investigation. The former president, who has consistently lied about winning the 2020 election, has called for efforts to remove him from the 2024 ballot under the 14th Amendment as “bullshit” and “election interference.”
The Minnesota lawsuit was filed after another voter group, backed by the left-wing government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed a lawsuit to block Trump from appearing on the ballot in Colorado. A trial in that case began earlier this week.
Similar legal challenges centered on the 14th Amendment have been filed in New Hampshire, Arizona and other states. Michigan.