Minnesota Supreme Court Allows Trump To Appear on Presidential Primary Ballot

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald Trump is eligible to appear on the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot despite his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

The decision stems from a lawsuit filed by former Secretary of State Joan Growe, (D) former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson and Minnesota voters asking for Trump’s disqualification from holding the office of president of the United States.  The petitioners argued that Trump was “constitutionally ineligible” to take the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment

Section 3 prohibits the election or appointment of an individual to state or federal office if they previously held such an office, took an oath of office and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the [United States], or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” Adopted after the Civil War, the amendment precludes any insurrectionist who has served as a member of Congress, state legislator, U.S. military officer or federal or state officer from serving again.

The petition argues that Trump “inflamed his supporters” with false allegations of voter fraud in the aftermath of the 2020 election and attempted multiple schemes to overturn the election. After those schemes failed, Trump incited an insurrection to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s victory and “illegally extend [his] tenure in office.”

In today’s order, the Minnesota Supreme Court determined that Trump can appear on the presidential primary ballot. The court classified the presidential primary as an “internal party election” and found that there is no state law that prevents a 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.”

With the court’s decision, Trump remains on the presidential primary ballot in the Gopher State. The court did not make a decision on Trump’s eligibility for the general election ballot stating the issue is not ripe, or ready for consideration by the court at this time. 

Trump faces similar challenges to his eligibility in 21 active lawsuits across the country. It is unclear if this court’s decision will have an impact in other states. Another challenge in Colorado wrapped up trial on Nov. 3 and a judge is expected to rule by Thanksgiving. A Michigan court will hear two additional 14th amendment challenges tomorrow. 

Read the Minnesota Supreme Court’s opinion here.

Learn more about Section 3 of the 14th Amendment here.