Trump to stay on Minnesota ballots

On Nov. 8, the Minnesota Supreme Court struck down the notion that Trump violated the 14th amendment, keeping him on ballots.
Photo via the National Archives and Records Administration
Photo via the National Archives and Records Administration / National Archives and Records Administration (Source)

A Minnesota lawsuit regarding former President Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election was presented in court on Nov. 2. The lawsuit is among dozens pending across the country that rely on a Civil War-era clause within the 14th Amendment that bars anyone who has “engaged in insurrection” after taking an oath from holding public office again. The Minnesota Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit on Nov. 8.

The lawsuit was filed by a nonpartisan legal advocacy organization called “Free Speech For The People” against the Minnesota Secretary of State, Steve Simon. The group argued that Trump did not meet the constitutional requirements for a second presidential office bid due to the aforementioned clause in the Constitution.

Youth in Government members junior Emily Ren and senior Ethan Zhao shared their perspectives on the matter and discussed potential impacts on Trump’s campaign in Minnesota and the Midwest. When asked about the likelihood of Trump’s exclusion from the state ballot before the decision, the students provided a range of responses.

“I find it extremely unlikely that he will be left off the Minnesota ballot. Even if [Simon] takes Trump’s name off the ballot, Trump’s group can appeal [the decision] and it shouldn’t get passed up to the Supreme Court since there is a six-to-three ratio of conservatives to liberals. So it’s likely to be overturned,” said Ren. 

Zhao believes that the widespread attention from other states will have an impact on Trump’s bid for reelection. “[The lawsuit] isn’t just happening in Minnesota,” said Zhao. “This is happening in a lot of other states like Michigan and Colorado. So I think at some point, some court is probably going to look at this and probably think that Trump really did cross a line. I think it’s very likely. And at that point, it will probably get kicked up to the Supreme Court. And I think it’s an important question for the Supreme Court to answer.” 

Zhao also emphasizes the possibility that the lawsuits will benefit Trump’s influence on his voters. “In terms of his voter base in the Midwest, I think that this could get people really riled up and really willing to get out there and vote for him,” he said. 

It seems like whenever he has charges against him, he uses it to his advantage and his base really seems to use that as fuel for their fire.

— Kristin Heinz, social studies teacher

Social Studies Teacher Kristin Heinz agrees that, if anything, the lawsuit will benefit Trump as a candidate. “I don’t think [the lawsuits] will impact [Trump’s campaign]. I think it might actually embolden him, because it seems like whenever he has charges against him, he uses it to his advantage and his base really seems to use that as fuel for their fire,” she said.

During the Nov. 2 hearing, Minnesota Supreme Court justices reportedly disagreed that the lawsuit was a state issue to begin with. Chief Justice Natalie E. Hudson even suggested that Congress would be the ideal place to determine whether Trump’s role on Jan. 6, 2022, should prevent him from running. This became the primary reason behind the lawsuit’s rejection.

These questions surrounding the 14th Amendment clause have the potential to significantly change the political process in the U.S. Trump’s status on the Minnesota ballot remains intact, but many pending lawsuits across the country have yet to be determined.

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About the Contributor
William Overbo
William Overbo, Staff Reporter
Will is a senior staff reporter, and this year is his first year on The Viewer. Awards: Best of SNO - The downfall of ELA education
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