A group of voters in Minnesota filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to remove Donald Trump from their state’s presidential ballot, the second such suit against the former president in less than a week.
The voters filed the petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court, arguing that Trump should be disqualified under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. That section of the Constitution states that anyone who has taken an oath of office to the United States and then “engages in insurrection or rebellion” against the country is banned from holding public office again.
Trump has been indicted twice, once federally in Washington and again at the state level in Georgia, for trying to overturn the election. While he has yet to be tried in either case, the lawsuit argues that “during his 2020 re-election campaign, and after the results made clear that he had lost the election, Trump inflamed his supporters with claims that the 2020 presidential election had been rigged.”
“None of this conduct was undertaken in performance of Trump’s official duties, in his official capacity, or under color of his office,” the suit states. “Rather, Trump engaged in insurrection solely in his personal or campaign capacity.”
This is the second lawsuit to remove Trump from a state ballot that has been filed in less than a week. Last Wednesday, a group of Colorado voters represented by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, filed a petition to remove Trump from the Colorado ballot. The voters are either Republican or unaffiliated.
Colorado’s Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold would be responsible for declaring Trump ineligible for the ballot. Although she is named as the defendant in the suit, she appeared to welcome it because it could clarify the law.
“I look forward to the Colorado Court’s substantive resolution of the issues, and am hopeful that this case will provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility as a candidate for office,” she said in a statement.
Election officials in multiple states are looking into whether Trump is even eligible to run next fall. A survey conducted by The Messenger of all 50 secretaries of state found that six are already looking into legal arguments to keep Trump off the ballot.
As Matt Ford pointed out in The New Republic last week, there is the potential for this to wreak havoc on the election if Trump is disqualified during or even after primary season. But “the rest of the American political system should start thinking about the possibility that Trump, the leading GOP contender for next fall’s presidential election, might not end up on the ballot at all.”