Michigan Judge says Trump can’t intervene in suit to keep him off ballot

October 27, 2023

A judge in the Michigan Court of Claims this week ruled former President Trump cannot formally intervene in a lawsuit seeking to disqualify him from the 2024 ballot. 

Judge James Redford said Wednesday that Trump failed to show how the Court of Claims’ “limited” jurisdiction applies to him. 

Redford also refused to toss the lawsuit. 

Michigan is one of at least six states where both Democrats and conservatives are seeking to keep Trump off the 2024 Presidential ballot, basing their lawsuits on a provision in the 14th Amendment that says any American official who has taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution is disqualified from holding office if they engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” or they’ve “given aid or comfort” to anyone else who has. 

Trump has said numerous times that he would pardon those convicted of crimes linked to the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol if he wins reelection.

The issue of the 14th amendment surrounding Trump’s elegibility for office entered the national debate in August after two renowned legal scholars on opposite sides of the political spectrum raised the Constitutional argument: liberal Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence Tribe and conservative retired federal judge Michael Luttig.

Luttig has noted that the 14th Amendment’s section 3 “functions as a sort of constitutional immune system” meant to “keep those who have fundamentally betrayed the constitutional order from keeping or resuming power.”

In Michigan, Judge Redford said Trump’s legal filings made no argument to explain how the court would have authority to let him join the legal action. He gave the Trump campaign until Monday to file additional arguments. 

Redford did say Trump’s legal team could file a friend of the court brief representing his perspective.

Neither Trump’s legal team nor the Michigan Republican Party responded to Eastern Michigan Public Radio station WEMU-FM’s request for comment.

PHOTO: Michigan Court of Claims

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