Minnesota Supreme Court to rule on Trump’s attempts to disqualify individuals under the 14th Amendment

During oral arguments on Thursday, the Minnesota Supreme Court was presented with efforts to prevent former President Trump from being on the ballot under the 14th Amendment. Some of the justices expressed caution towards deciding Trump’s eligibility, indicating a sense of wariness.

A nonprofit with left-leaning views has initiated a case, among multiple others across the United States, to prevent Trump from reclaiming the presidency under a clause that prohibits individuals who swore an oath to support the Constitution but later “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding office.

During Thursday’s hearing, the nonprofit’s legal team presented several key arguments that must be won in order for their case to proceed. These include determining whether the clause applies to sitting presidents, whether it can be enforced without congressional legislation, and whether the matter falls outside of the court’s jurisdiction as a political question.

The Minnesota Supreme Court, with five judges presiding, four of whom were appointed by Democrats, are currently deliberating on the case. Two other judges have recused themselves. During the proceedings on Thursday, several judges voiced their apprehensions regarding the different threshold issues.

Justice Barry Anderson expressed his opinion on Trump’s attorney’s argument about the political question doctrine, stating that it poses a significant challenge for the opposing side in the case.

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Chief Justice Natalie Hudson believes that the issue at hand is a matter that Congress should decide on a national level. Even if her court had the authority to make a decision, she would still hesitate to do so.

Hudson pondered, “Should we proceed with it? Despite our ability and potential to execute it?”

According to Ron Fein, the legal director for Free Speech For People, the lawsuit filed by the nonprofit on behalf of eight Minnesota voters is essential for maintaining the integrity of the U.S. Constitution and protecting American democracy. Fein believes that the court’s intervention is necessary to ensure that these values are upheld.

During the court proceedings, Fein boldly stated that Donald Trump had committed an act of rebellion and insurrection against the Constitution of the United States. He further emphasized that Trump’s actions were a desperate attempt to maintain his position of power after losing the election.

According to him, the framers of the 14th Amendment had the foresight to protect the country from insurrectionists who break their oath. Thus, Section Three of the Amendment serves as a safeguard against such individuals who, if given the chance, would repeat their actions or commit even worse offenses. He further emphasizes that the straightforward language of Section Three prohibits Trump from ever holding any public office.

Fein urged the justices to green-light the case and order an evidentiary hearing. Minnesota’s secretary of state has requested a resolution by early January to ensure ample time for primary preparations, regardless of the verdict.

Like several other states across the US, Minnesota has also filed a case under the 14th Amendment. Currently, a trial is taking place in Colorado regarding Trump’s eligibility, while other similar cases are still in their initial stages.

The argument put forward by Trump and his campaign is that the intervention of state courts could create chaos if they reach different conclusions.

According to Trump’s attorney, Nicholas Nelson, the courts have consistently rejected requests from parties to intervene in the presidential candidate selection process. He further explained that the judiciary is not the appropriate platform to decide who can or cannot be president, and this decision should be made elsewhere.

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During Thursday’s argument, Reid LeBeau, the attorney representing the Republican Party of Minnesota, reiterated the party’s stance that judicial intervention would impede upon their First Amendment right to select a candidate to associate with. LeBeau emphasized the party’s belief that they should have the freedom to choose their own nominee without interference.

LeBeau expressed concern that the path being taken could result in 50 different states with 50 different ballots, and none of the same individuals appearing on them.

According to Hudson, the appropriate venue to decide on the matter is the U.S. Supreme Court. He emphasized the importance of the said court in resolving similar issues.

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