Michigan judge declines Trump’s request to toss lawsuit to remove him from ballot ⋆

A judge on Wednesday rejected former President Donald Trump’s request to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to force him off the 2024 ballot in Michigan.

Court of Claims Judge James Robert Redford denied the request and turned down Trump’s motion to be party to the lawsuit, citing the court’s limited jurisdiction.

In the order, Redford wrote that Trump “does not fall within the definition of ‘the state or any of its departments of officers.’”

Citing the 14th amendment, group files lawsuit filed to keep Trump off Michigan 2024 ballot

The judge, however, repeated his invitation to allow Trump to respond to the lawsuit in an amicus brief.

Trump’s lawyers argue that it is “manifestly inappropriate” to remove him from the ballot and that neither state officials nor the court should have the authority to take such an action.

Community activist Robert Davis filed a lawsuit on Sept. 15 to force Trump off the ballot, arguing that the former president is ineligible to run for office again because he violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by engaging in an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.

Davis applauded Redford’s decision.

“It’s quite obvious that the attorneys that have been retained by the former president are unfamiliar with Michigan law,” Davis toldMetro Times. “They don’t understand the limited jurisdiction of the Court of Claims. They also seem not to understand the meaning and importance of the oath of office established by the Michigan and U.S. constitutions.”

Davis filed the lawsuit against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson after she declined his request to remove Trump from the ballot. Benson argues she doesn’t have the authority to do so.

In his lawsuit, Davis contends Benson is “constitutionally obligated to determine whether a presidential candidate is eligible” to run for office.

The judge scheduled an emergency hearing on the matter for Nov. 6 in the Michigan Court of Appeals courtroom in Grand Rapids.

Davis said it “is pretty bizarre” that Trump is essentially arguing he is not beholden to the U.S. Constitution.

“The arguments that the former president’s legal counsel has advanced are outright frivolous,” Davis says. “His attorneys have attempted to argue that the president is not a federal officer under the United States Constitution and even argued that the oath of office that the president subscribed to is different from the oath of office of different elected officials.”

In his lawsuit, Davis also takes aim at Michigan’s new primary election date. On Feb. 1, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill that moves the primary election from March 12, 2024, to Feb. 27, 2024.

But Public Act 2, which changed the date of the election, does not become effective until the 91st day after the adjournment of the 2023 legislative session, Davis says. Since the state Senate and House don’t plan to adjourn until mid- to late-December, 91 days won’t pass before the primary election date of Feb. 27. Therefore, Davis argues, Benson cannot hold the primary election in February.

Benson “does not have the constitutional nor statutory legal authority to enforce a law that has NOT become operational in accordance with the” Michigan Constitution, the lawsuit states.

In Benson’s response to the lawsuit, her attorneys acknowledged that the election may not take place until March 12.

Redford agreed earlier this month to fast-track the lawsuit because of what’s at stake.

Davis filed a second lawsuit on Sept. 27 aimed at removing Trump from the ballot in Wayne County. He makes the same arguments and says the Wayne County Election Commission, which is tasked with printing official ballots in the county, has a “legal duty” to remove Trump from the ballot in Wayne, the largest county in Michigan.

This story first ran in the Detroit Metro Times. Follow them: Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

authored by Steve Neavling
First published at https%3A%2F%2Fmichiganadvance.com%2F2023%2F10%2F28%2Fmichigan-judge-declines-trumps-request-to-toss-lawsuit-to-remove-him-from-ballot%2F

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