Detroit Today: Will Trump be disqualified from appearing on Michigan’s ballot?

Trump’s attorneys filed a complaint in the Michigan Court of Claims on Tuesday seeking to bar Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson from disqualifying him from the 2024 presidential ballot.

Former President Donald Trump arrives at a commit to caucus rally, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Sioux City, Iowa.

Former President Donald Trump arrives at a commit to caucus rally, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Sioux City, Iowa.

This week, Donald Trump filed a complaint in Michigan’s Court of Claims seeking to stop efforts in the state to disqualify him from the 2024 presidential ballot.

Plaintiffs in the pending cases argue that Trump’s actions surrounding the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol amount to an attempted insurrection, or rebellion, that disqualifies him under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

It’s just the latest in a series of battles taking place in the courts – both in Michigan and nationally – exploring whether or not the Amendment precludes the former president’s candidacy.

Law professors David Orentlicher and Richard Broughton joined Detroit Today on Thursday to share their insights on the lawsuits and the ethical and political concerns that surround them, along with Mark Brewer, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in one of the cases seeking to bar Trump from the 2024 ballot.

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Mark Brewer is a partner and attorney at the Goodman Acker law firm. He represents plaintiffs in a case seeking to disqualify former president Donald Trump from appearing on the 2024 ballot, and believes Trump should be disqualified from appearing on the Michigan ballot in 2024 because he violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Donald Trump has violated this rule that says not only can he not run for president, but he can never run or serve in public office again,” says Brewer. “That’s how serious it is to engage in an insurrection to try to overthrow the government of the United States.”

David Orentlicher is a Law Professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He says if Trump’s involvement in the January 6th storming of the capital is interpreted as “engaging in an insurrection”, that rule would be applied too broadly. 

“If you use this definition, it would apply to Trump, and others that participated in the January 6th violence, but also to those who use force to resist governmental authority for any reason,” says Orentlicher. 

Richard Broughton is law professor at the University of Detroit-Mercy and a U.S. Constitution expert. He says the purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment is to prevent individuals who have betrayed their oath to the constitution from serving in public office.

“If you have taken an oath to support the constitution and then you have betrayed that oath, you shouldn’t be allowed to serve in public office,” says Broughton.

Listen to Detroit Today with host Stephen Henderson weekdays from 9-10 a.m. ET on 101.9 WDET and streaming on-demand.

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