Michigan Supreme Court Upholds Trump’s 2024 Ballot Eligibility

On Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected an appeal seeking to bar former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 Republican primary ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

The ruling affirmed the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling earlier this month, dismissing a prior appeal by the watchdog group Free Speech For People (FSFP).

The group aimed to exclude Trump from the ballot and lodged an appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court after the Court of Appeals decision.

The decision in the crucial battleground state follows closely on the heels of the unprecedented move by the Colorado Supreme Court last week, which barred Trump from participating in the state’s GOP primary ballot.

This historic decision, a first of its kind, asserted that the former president “engaged in insurrection” on January 6. Trump’s legal team has indicated plans to appeal this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court in the upcoming weeks.

The Michigan Supreme Court dismissed the FSFP’s appeal on procedural grounds, stating that it was not “persuaded that the questions presented” warranted review by the court.

The Michigan Supreme Court’s decision disappointed FSFP, as the court did not address several legal theories presented in the lawsuit. The group emphasized that the court chose not to overturn a lower court ruling, maintaining that the Michigan state challenge process does not permit challenges to presidential candidates during the primary stage.

Trump posted on his social media platform, celebrating the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision. He stated, “The Michigan Supreme Court has strongly and rightfully denied the Desperate Democrat attempt to take the leading Candidate in the 2024 Presidential Election, me, off the ballot in the Great State of Michigan.”

Trump dismissed the 14th Amendment challenges as a “pathetic gambit” and said, “Colorado is the only State to have fallen prey to the scheme.”

The Michigan 14th Amendment cases didn’t go to trial for evidence review, unlike in Colorado. Oral arguments occurred in a Michigan Court of Claims in early November for three lawsuits, two contesting Trump’s eligibility, suing Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to prevent Trump from being on the ballot, and a third lawsuit filed by the former president suing Benson, demanding a declaration that she has no authority to exclude him. A Michigan Court of Claims judge dismissed the first two suits and upheld the third.

The Michigan Supreme Court did not disclose the vote count, but Justice Elizabeth M. Welch dissented, drawing a contrast between the Michigan and Colorado 14th Amendment cases. She specifically compared Michigan law with Colorado’s election code.