Former President Trump will now appear on the Minnesota ballot after the state Supreme Court dismissed a challenge arguing the former president should be disqualified from the primary ballot under the 14th Amendment.
The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed the case in an order Wednesday, saying neither the courts nor election officials in the state have the authority to prevent the Republican Party from placing Trump as a candidate on the GOP primary ballot. Five Minnesota Supreme Court justices weighed in on the case after two others recused themselves.
The justices argued that the primary process “is an internal party election to serve internal party purposes, and winning the presidential nomination primary does not place the person on the general election ballot as a candidate for President of the United States.”
“And there is no state statute that prohibits a major political party from placing on the presidential nomination primary ballot, or sending delegates to the national convention supporting, a candidate who is ineligible to hold office,” the justices wrote.
Some of the justices expressed concerns last week about the challenge due to various jurisdictional issues, with some suggesting it was an issue for Congress.
The case was brought forth by a left-leaning nonprofit in September and was just one of many challenges across the country aiming to keep Trump off the ballot under the 14th Amendment, which provides that anyone who took an oath to support the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” cannot hold office.
The court did not rule on whether Trump would be ineligible to appear on the 2024 general election ballot, saying that the petitioner’s claim “is neither ripe, nor is it ‘about to occur.’” The justices said the petitioners could bring their case again over the general election if the GOP front-runner clinches the nomination.
There have been similar challenges in other states that aim to keep Trump off the ballot under the 14th Amendment. A trial is underway in Colorado on Trump’s eligibility in a similar case, while other cases remain in earlier stages.
Trump’s campaign issued a statement claiming that the decision proves that ballot challenges under the 14th Amendment “are nothing more than strategic, un-Constitutional attempts to interfere with the election.”
“The ballot challenges (which we call the Democrats’ STEAL Curtain) are universally funded by left-wing activist groups masquerading as ‘non-partisan watchdogs,’” Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement.
“These groups are funded by some of the biggest financiers of the Democrat Party, including the likes of George Soros. They are sham groups doing the bidding of the Biden campaign and their ballot challenges should be summarily thrown out wherever they next arise,” he continued.