The lawsuit asserts that Trump’s alleged involvement in the January 6th riots constitute an “insurrection” under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, rendering the former president ineligible to ever again seek or hold public office.
A group of Minnesota residents have filed a lawsuit asking the state Supreme Court to find Donald Trump ineligible to run for president under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
According to Minnesota Public Radio, the lawsuit was filed earlier this week by Free Speech for People on behalf of several local voters, including former Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Secretary of State Joan Growe and former state Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson.
Collectively, the plaintiffs seek a court order striking Trump’s name from the 2024 state presidential primary, as well as its general election ballot.
The lawsuit, similar to claims filed in other states, suggests that Trump is barred by the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which prohibits persons involved in insurrection and rebellion against the U.S. government from seeking or holding federal office.
Attorneys for Free Speech for People say that Trump cannot stand for office because he either facilitated, or encouraged, the January 6th riots outside of the Capital in Washington, D.C.
“This is a very serious lawsuit. This is not theater. This is not playing politics,” said Free Speech for People legal director Ron Fein. “Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, although it’s one that people had not been familiar with until recently, is a critical tool for protecting our republic and our constitutional democracy from the type of person who would send a violent mob to attack Congress to try and prevent the peaceful transfer of power.”
Fein further said that the framers of the 14th Amendment, enacted in the aftermath of the Civil War, had intended to prevent people like Trump from attaining office after threatening its integrity.
“Donald Trump violated his oath of office and incited a violent insurrection that attacked the US Capitol, threatened the assassination of the vice-president and congressional leaders, and disrupted the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in our nation’s history,” Fein said. “Our predecessors understood that oath-breaking insurrectionists will do it again, and worse, if allowed back into power, so they enacted the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause to protect the republic from people like Trump. Trump is legally barred from the ballot and election officials must follow this constitutional mandate.”
The Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office has also issued a statement saying that it hopes the court can resolve the claim quickly.
“For the sake of Minnesota’s voters, we hope the court resolves this issue to allow for the orderly administration of the elections in 2024,” it said in a statement.
David Hann, the chairperson of the Minnesota Republican Party, told M.P.R. that it believes the lawsuit’s legal argument is meritless, and that it should be dismissed by the court.
“The Republican Party of Minnesota believes that voters in Minnesota should ultimately decide through voting which candidates are qualified to represent them in public office,” Hann said in a statement. “The Minnesota Supreme Court should reject this fringe legal theory which is purposefully designed to prevent voters from having a voice in our elections.”