Lawsuit filed to disqualify Donald Trump on Michigan ballots

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 11:29 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Former President Donald Trump is facing more legal drama.

A dozen lawsuits to disqualify Trump have been filed across the nation but the group, “Free Speech for People” filed their own lawsuit Friday in Michigan. They say they don’t want to see Donald Trump’s name on Michigan ballots come next year.

In the lawsuit filed, “Free Speech for People” claims that Donald Trump violated the constitution.

Mark Brewer, one of the law partners involved in the suit, says, “because he engaged in insurrection and aided insurrectionists against the United States government when he tried to overturn the 2020 election and incited the riot and the capital takeover on January 6th of 2021.”

Brewer is referencing the 14th amendment -- section 3, that states: No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

Mark Brewer says the lawsuit is a direct response to the Secretary of State.

“The Secretary of State has indicated that she intends to put Trump on the ballot here in Michigan unless a court tells her otherwise. So, we’re going to court to get a court order that Trump is not qualified to be on the ballot,” Brewer says.

The Secretary of State’s office says they can’t comment on pending litigation but referred News 10 to Secretary Jocelyn Benson’s op-ed piece in the Washington Post where she states: the precise legal definition of the wording in the 14th Amendment — “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” — has yet to be determined. She also questions the former President’s influence on the January 6 capitol attack. She rounds out the piece saying she believes that whether Trump is eligible to run or not should not be left up to the Secretary of State but a non-partisan court.

“The constitution language is very clear, it’s been used in the past to disqualify people who engage in conduct like Trump from serving and running for the election. The facts are very clear and a neutral judge is going to decide this. This is not a partisan lawsuit,” Mark Brewer said.

While some call “Free Speech for People” a liberal organization, Mark Brewer says none of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are democrats , they’re a combination of republicans and independents. “Free Speech for People” is the first lawsuit filed by an organization with access to significant legal counsel.

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