WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld two lower court rulings allowing former President Donald Trump to appear on the state’s primary ballot despite his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The decision stems from two lawsuits filed by Michigan voters seeking to prevent Trump from appearing on the state’s ballot. Both lawsuits argued that Trump was “constitutionally ineligible” to take the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
The first lawsuit was filed in Wayne County Circuit Court and requested that the county’s election commission make a determination of whether Trump was qualified to hold office under the 14th amendment e. Another lawsuit filed in Michigan’s Court of Claims sought to prevent the secretary of state from allowing Trump to appear on the state’s primary and general election ballots.
Both courts denied the voters’ request and allowed Trump to remain on the primary ballot. The Wayne County Circuit Court found that the county’s election commission has no authority to determine Trump’s eligibility. The Michigan Court of Claims ruled that primary elections were a function of political parties, not the secretary of state. Therefore, the secretary of state did not have authority to prevent Trump from appearing on the state’s primary ballot. Additionally, the state legislature had not enacted any laws concerning who can appear on the state’s primary ballots. Both cases were appealed to the state’s intermediate court.
In a 3-0 ruling yesterday, the court affirmed the Wayne Circuit Court decision, holding that the county election commission has no authority to make a determination on Trump’s eligibility. The court also affirmed the Court of Claims decision finding that Trump’s eligibility to appear on the state’s primary ballot is an internal party matter: “There is virtually no discretion left to the Secretary of State in this process. The Secretary of State, rather, follows the directions of the political parties and the candidates themselves.” The court found no state laws that prevent the Republican Party from placing Trump on the primary ballot.
Trump remains on the presidential primary ballot in Michigan, but he faces similar challenges to his eligibility in 15 active lawsuits across the country. Courts in Colorado and Minnesota have ruled that Trump is eligible to appear on each state’s primary ballot. Voters in Colorado are awaiting a decision on their appeal of Trump’s eligibility.