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Lawsuit Invokes 14th Amendment in Bid to Block Trump's 2024 Run in Minnesota

Wednesday, September 13, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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A Minneapolis-based liberal group, Free Speech for People, has filed a lawsuit in Minnesota against former President Donald Trump, seeking to prevent him from being able to appear on the 2024 presidential ballot under an insurrectionist ban embodied in the 14th Amendment. Despite a similar challenge just last week initiated in Colorado, both cases are widely viewed as long-shot efforts by legal standards.

The 14th Amendment prohibits any U.S. official taking an oath to defend the Constitution from holding further office if he is found guilty of insurrection or giving aid to insurrectionists. However, it is unclear how this ban may be enforced by the Constitution and has been applied only twice since the late 1800s against former Confederates.

The suit claims that Trump, through his words and deeds after taking the presidential oath to uphold the Constitution, committed insurrection by inciting violence against duly elected officials of a co-equal branch of government, thereby disqualifying him from holding office. It was filed on behalf of eight Minnesota voters: a former GOP-appointed state Supreme Court justice; a former Democratic secretary of state; and an Iraq War veteran.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said he acknowledged this right for Minnesotans to challenge a candidate’s eligibility to hold office under Minnesota law. He said candidates fielded by political parties would appear on the ballot unless a court ruled otherwise.

The lawsuit would prevent Trump's name from appearing on either the primary or general election ballots if he wins his party’s nomination. In Minnesota, Super Tuesday is March 5.

Though all of these challenges face significant legal hurdles and could be appealed to the Supreme Court, they do appear to have successfully re-energized talk that Trump was an insurrectionist and refocused attention on his campaign against a peaceful transition of power.

In addition, last year, the bipartisan House Select Committee recommended banning Trump from future office under the 14th Amendment, and separate federal and state charges are pending over Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

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