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Michigan Supreme Court declines to immediately hear appeal of ruling allowing Donald Trump on primary ballot

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Dec. 6, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Dec. 6, 2023 04:00

The Michigan Supreme Court refused Wednesday to immediately hear an appeal of a lower court's ruling that would allow former President Donald Trump's name on the state's presidential primary ballot.

The state Supreme Court said the case should remain before the state court of appeals, and not immediately move to Michigan's highest court as a liberal group had requested.

The court said in its order that it "is not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court before consideration by the Court of Appeals."

Dozens of cases hoping to keep Trump's name off state ballots contend that his actions related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol ran afoul of a clause in the 14th Amendment that prevents anyone from holding office who "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the Constitution.

In Michigan, attorneys for a group of activists asked the state Supreme Court on Nov. 16 for an "immediate and expedited consideration" for appeal and an "emergency application" to bypass the state Appeals Court.

The liberal group Free Speech for People — a nonprofit also behind a lawsuit seeking to keep Trump off Minnesota's ballot — had sued to force Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to bar Trump from Michigan's ballot.

Court of Claims Judge James Redford rejected their arguments. Redford said in a Nov. 14 order that it was the proper role of Congress to decide the question.

Free Speech for People had asked the Michigan Supreme Court to send the case back to the Court of Claims to conduct an evidentiary hearing on Trump's eligibility to be placed on the primary ballot.

It was not immediately clear when the state court of appeals will consider the issue.

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