Michigan Court Rejects Effort to Disqualify Donald Trump

We have been discussing the nationwide effort to disqualify former President Donald Trump from ballots in key states under a novel theory using Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Yesterday, a Michigan judge was the latest to dismiss the effort to prevent voters from being able to vote for Trump.

As many of you know, I have been a vocal critic of the theory as unfounded and dangerous. While figures like Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe have assured the public that Trump is clearly disqualified under the theory, it is based on unsustainable historical and legal interpretations in my view. For that reason, I have welcomed rulings to allow these claims to be reviewed on appeal. It has not fared well. While some have misrepresented past rulings, Tribe and others are still seeking a favorable judge.

State Judge James Robert Redford rejected the challenge and found that the courts lack the claimed authority under the theory. Judge Redford also rejected the effort of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) under state law to remove candidates from the ballot based on that provision.

An appeal is now expected to proceed and the matter could well end up in front of the Supreme Court.

Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in a similar case that Trump could not be removed from the primary ballot in that state. Another ruling is expected soon out of Colorado.

I have previously addressed the constitutional basis for this claim. It is, in my view, wildly out of sync with the purpose of the amendment, which followed an actual rebellion, the Civil War.

As previously discussed, the 14th Amendment bars those who took the oath and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.” It then adds that that disqualification can extend to those who have “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” According to these experts, Jan. 6 was an “insurrection” and Trump gave “aid and comfort” to those who engaged in it by spreading election fraud claims and not immediately denouncing the violence.

But even the view that it was an “insurrection” is by no means a consensus. Polls have shown that most of the public view Jan. 6 for what it was: a protest that became a riot. One year after the riot, CBS News mostly downplayed and ignored the result of its own poll showing that 76 percent viewed it for what it was, as a “protest gone too far.” The view that it was an actual “insurrection” was far less settled, with almost half rejecting the claim, a division breaking along partisan lines.

Advocates of this theory like Benson are arguing that they are protecting democracy by denying the ability of tens of millions of Americans to vote for their preferred candidate. Nothing says democracy like barring the choice of voters. It is a practice that is common in nations like Iran where the government scrubs the ballots of unacceptable candidates.

Hopefully, these courts will expedite these rulings to allow the matter to reach the Supreme Court for a final and definitive ruling. These challenges are spreading uncertainty on the choices that will be allowed for voters — a dangerous and dysfunctional effort.

Here are the opinions:

20231114 Opin Ord – LaBrant et al v Benson

20231114 Opin Ord – Trump v Benson


180 thoughts on “Michigan Court Rejects Effort to Disqualify Donald Trump”

  1. The most grievous, subversive, and anti-American insurrection in U.S. history was committed by an utterly ineligible and artificially and illicitly ensconced communist “community organizer”:


  2. Donald J. Trump swore an Oath of Office to NOT violate the U.S. Constitution and NOT violate anyone’s constitutional rights. One cannot hold governing authority in the United States without taking this supreme loyalty oath.

    Trump attempted to erase the vote of more than 50% of all voters – violating our right to self-govern.

    63 judges (including Trump appointed judges) ruled that Trump lost the election. Knowing this fact, Trump then engineered a violent insurrection on January 6, 2021.

    Compare that Gore and Hillary: Al Gore won about 500,000 more votes than Bush received. Hillary Clinton won about 3 million more votes than Trump received. It didn’t require 63 court cases. They didn’t throw a tantrum because they lost the electoral college vote.

    Trump is simply disloyal to the United States and unfit to lead anyone.

    1. Unfortunately what you write is a lie that was proven to be a lie many times on this list. Trump won more than double what he lost.

      Pin heads can post at will, but they remain pin heads.

    2. “63 judges (including Trump appointed judges) ruled that Trump lost the election.”

      As blatant a lie as has ever been recorded on this blog. Please quote even one search ruling.


    3. “They didn’t throw a tantrum because they lost the electoral college vote.”

      Another blatant lie. Hillary has been pitching a tantrum ever since she lost, including about losing the electoral college.


    4. There is a threshold question whether a violation of the Presidential oath is even covered by the 14th Amendment. Former AG Mukasey has argued that it clearly is not. Professor Calabresi changed his view when he read Mukasey’s argument. This is even before you get to the question whether there was an insurrection and that Trump aided it.

      1. “This is even before you get to the question whether there was an insurrection and that Trump aided it.”

        Which is really no question at all. Insurrection is a crime, defined in 18 USC 2383. No one has been charged, much less convicted, of such a crime. I.

  3. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

    In their ongoing desire to “get Trump” by any means necessary, Leftists tell us that that provision of the Constitution is “automatic.” It’s “self-executing.”

    In a case under dispute, there is no such thing as an “automatic” decision. Nor is there any such thing as a “self-executing” action.

    “Johnny, you stole that apple.” “No I didn’t.” “Too bad for you, my decision is automatic.”

    You know what type of regime makes “automatic” decisions about a person’s guilt or innocence? A tyranny.

    “Susie, you breached that contract.” “No I didn’t.” “Too bad for you, my decision to fine you is self-executing.”

    And what type of regime metes out punishment without the benefit of a trial? A government of men, not of laws, i.e., a Leftist regime.

    “Automatic” in this context means that the Left regards itself as Plato’s philosopher king. The one with an infallible access to “higher truths.” The one whose superior insight is beyond debate, persuasion, dispute. The one who issues a decree that the rest of us must blindly follow.

  4. “That’s the very meaning of an “insurrection”!”

    Perhaps. Perhaps not.

    One thing, though, is certain: Trial by public is always a bad idea.

    In this country, punishment (being denied the right to run for office) comes *after* conviction in a court of law.

  5. The Democrats will keep at it until they find a hyper-politicized judge in one or two red or swing states that is all too happy to carry their water.

  6. There arent enough tall buildings in Gaza to throw all the gays off of them. Douglas Murray nails the Left as ignorant, vacuous Americans


  7. OT




    “Criminal defendant Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, filed a motion Wednesday seeking the issuance of subpoenas of former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald Trump, citing an excerpt from Barr’s book in support of the argument there was “more than a mere appearance” that Trump “improperly and unrelentingly pressured DOJ to pursue an investigation and prosecution […] to advance […] partisan ambitions.”

    – Law & Crime

    The loyal and trustworthy Bill Barr dropped the dime on the President he served.

    Alternatively: Global Communist Deep Deep State “Swamp” sycophant and covert operative, Bill “We Will Stop Him” Barr, concluded his stealth operation against President Donald J. Trump by publicly denigrating the president who hired him.

    Barr failed to mention that John Durham said the FBI must have never opened Operation Crossfire Hurricane, that the FBI and DOJ had no evidence of Russia, Russia, Russia collusion, that Zuckerberg admitted that the FBI zuckered Facebook into censoring conservative posts, that Obama continues to conduct a coup against Trump, that FBI Counsel Lisa Page wrote in an e-mail that “Obama wanted to know everything they were doing,” and that Barr and the entire communist (liberal, progressive, socialist, democrat, RINO, AINO) American Deep Deep State “Swamp” is doing everything it can to STOP TRUMP.



    1. Like gravity, the natural tendency of all government officials is unconstitutional-authoritarianism.

      Both Republicans and Democrats do this.

      These officials seem to view any authority is possible, as long as nobody finds out about it.

      Excessive Secrecy plays a big part here. If an official can classify something as “Secret” for 50 years, that alone removes all risk of legal penalty for any official to do anything they please.

      Excessive Secrecy actually creates an “incentive” for officials abusing their authority. The official will never have to confront their mistakes or abuses. It won’t affect their paycheck or pension. If they commit crimes, they never have to confront or apologize to their crime victims.

      The next generation of officials know this, so they become even more lawless. That’s a pretty good summary of 21st Century government.

      This creates cynicism with voters and reinforces the “Deep State” idea. Both political parties do it.

      1. Both parties have done this. Absolutely.
        The last time we saw governmet attacks on Free speech like we see now, they were lead by Sen. MacCarthy a republican – though there were some democrats complicit.
        But today the effort is almost exclusively by democrats.

        I would note that When MacCarthy engaged in his nonsense – he was challenging a republican president.

        Today we have complicity from the executivive congressional democrats, the media, and social media.
        One wonders how free speech in any form will survive.

        Trump is currently threatening to do to democrats what they are doing to him.

        Hillary has threatened to send half the country to re-education camps.

        And democrats are so self unaware they are freaking out. The same people who are cheering Willis, James, Bragg, … on are terrified that Trump SAYS he will do to them what they have done to him.

        When Trump is president – if he actually does what he says – Trump has said he would do all kinds of things to democrats that democrats have done to him, and ultimately not done them. One of his campaign promises was to”Lock Her up” yet immediately after the election Trump called Hillary and burried the hatchet, assuring her that he would not go after her. And no one did.

        Will Trump make good on his threats ? Past history suggests that it is all carefully crafted political rhetoric.

        But if he does – I will reluctantly oppose him.
        Reluctantly – because the people he would go after fully deserve what he would unleash on them.

        Regardless, on issue after issue – Republicans are not to be trusted.
        To paraphrase Churchill Republicans are the worst – except for all the others.

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