Trump’s Attorney Argues for Political Independence in Ballot Qualification Decisions

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(KNSI) — The Minnesota Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit that could keep former President Donald Trump off the state’s presidential ballot in 2024.

Ronald Fein, one of the attorneys representing a group of voters, argues Trump is ineligible to run for office because of a clause in the U.S. Constitution. Attorneys say Section Three of the 14th Amendment disqualifies candidates who have supported or incited insurrection. The lawsuit claims Trump did that through his words and actions ahead of the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot.

Fein alleges that “Donald Trump engaged in rebellion and insurrection against the Constitution of the United States,” calling it “a desperate attempt to remain in office after losing the election.”

Trump’s attorney, Nicholas Nelson, says qualifications for the ballot shouldn’t be decided by the courts, arguing, “All this line of authority reflects an important reality about the purpose of the political question doctrine which is to ensure, that obviously, political questions and judicial questions remain separate.”

Five Minnesota Supreme Court justices heard the case Thursday, while two others recused themselves. A decision could take anywhere from one day to several weeks. A similar lawsuit is being heard in Colorado.

Trump has the backing of 59% of potential Republican primary voters, according to the latest polling numbers. Florida Governor Ron Desantis is next at roughly 13%.

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