Court Battles

Second 14th Amendment challenge to Trump candidacy filed in Minnesota

A second lawsuit has been filed to keep former President Trump off the ballot in 2024, this time by a liberal group seeking to do so in Minnesota by citing the 14th Amendment.

The suit, filed by Free Speech For People in Minnesota’s Supreme Court, echoes similar arguments made by some legal scholars and lawmakers who maintain that Trump should be disqualified from the ballot under the 14th Amendment for his actions in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol. 

Section 3 of the amendment, which is cited in the lawsuit, states that no person shall hold elected office who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States.”

Trump’s actions leading up to and on Jan. 6, when a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress’s official Electoral College count of the 2020 election affirming President Biden’s victory, was referred to the Justice Department by a select House panel late last year. The committee’s investigation spanned months and included witness testimony from dozens of Trump White House officials at the time.

Trump was later indicted by the Justice Department and in Georgia for efforts by him and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results and remain in power.

In its letter to Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon (D), the group asked Simon to exclude Trump from the ballot.

Simon said in a statement earlier this month that his office had gotten hundreds of calls, emails and letters regarding “a legal argument that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution calls into question the eligibility of former President Donald Trump to run for office again,” and made note that his office has no authority to investigate a candidate’s eligibility. He added, however, that eligibility could be challenged in court.

Laying out several allegations about Trump’s actions leading up to, during and after the riot, the suit points out that the former president, who is a leading 2024 contender, “remains unrepentant and would do it again.” 

“To this day, Trump has never expressed regret that his supporters violently attacked the U.S. Capitol, threatened to assassinate the Vice President and other key leaders, and obstructed congressional certification of the electoral votes. Nor has he condemned any of them for these actions,” the suit reads.

A Washington-based watchdog group filed a similar suit to block Trump from the 2024 ballot in Colorado. 

Earlier Tuesday, a group of New Hampshire lawmakers pressed the Granite State’s secretary of state to reject any ongoing attempts to keep Trump off the ballot, calling the argument an “absurd conspiracy theory.” 

Section 3 of the amendment has rarely been used since the period immediately following the Civil War.

Tags Jan. 6 riot Joe Biden Minnesota Steve Simon Trump