Lawsuit Aims to Prevent Trump from 2024 Ballot in Minnesota Under 14th Amendment Challenge

Minnesota, USA — A liberal advocacy group has filed a lawsuit with the goal of blocking former President Donald Trump from appearing on the 2024 presidential ballot in Minnesota. This marks the second significant legal challenge in as many weeks that seeks to utilize the obscure "insurrectionist ban" within the 14th Amendment.

While these cases are viewed as legal long shots, Trump, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, remains determined to contest these challenges and remain eligible for the presidential ballot. The recent lawsuit in Minnesota was filed in the state's court by Free Speech For People, one week after a similar challenge was initiated in Colorado by another group.

The 14th Amendment, enacted after the Civil War, stipulates that any American official who takes an oath to uphold the US Constitution is disqualified from holding future office if they have "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" or have "given aid or comfort" to insurrectionists. However, the Constitution does not provide explicit guidelines on how to enforce this ban, and it has only been applied on two occasions since the late 1800s, mainly against former Confederates.

The new lawsuit, filed on behalf of eight Minnesota voters, includes notable individuals such as a former GOP-appointed state Supreme Court justice, a former Democratic secretary of state, and an Iraq War veteran who led his county's GOP chapter.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, a Democrat, has acknowledged the right of Minnesotans under state law to challenge a candidate's eligibility for office in court, vowing to respect the outcome of the process. Political parties typically submit candidate lists for the primary and general election ballots, with the names provided by the parties appearing on the ballot unless a court intervenes.

The Republican primary in Minnesota is scheduled for March 5, coinciding with Super Tuesday. Trump currently maintains a substantial lead in the GOP primary race nationwide, according to recent polls. The lawsuit seeks to prevent Trump's name from appearing on both the primary and general election ballots should he secure the nomination. Notably, both Minnesota and Colorado have supported Democratic presidential candidates since 2008.

Advocacy groups pursuing these challenges to Trump's candidacy have expressed their intention to file lawsuits in additional states as the primary season approaches. While election officials in pivotal battleground states are closely monitoring the litigation, none have publicly endorsed the notion of disqualifying Trump from running.

Legal experts are divided on the viability of these 14th Amendment challenges. While some constitutional scholars, from various political backgrounds, have voiced support for the theory in recent months, others caution against blocking Trump from the ballot, citing potential backlash and the importance of allowing voters to make their own decisions.

These lawsuits face numerous legal hurdles before reaching the question of whether Trump should be disqualified. It is highly likely that Trump will appeal any unfavorable rulings, potentially leading the Supreme Court, with its conservative supermajority, to have the final say.

At the very least, these legal actions have reignited a nationwide debate regarding Trump's potential categorization as an insurrectionist and have refocused attention on his unprecedented efforts to disrupt the legitimate transfer of power.

Last year, a bipartisan House committee investigating the January 6 attack recommended barring Trump from holding future office under the 14th Amendment. Since then, Trump has faced federal and state charges related to his endeavors to overturn the 2020 election, for which he has pleaded not guilty. Following the recent challenge to Trump's candidacy in Colorado, his campaign dismissed the effort as an "absurd conspiracy theory" propagated by those who fear his strong showing in election polls.