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Two lawsuits aim to keep Trump off the ballot in Michigan

Two lawsuits aim to keep Trump off the ballot in Michigan
Two lawsuits aim to keep Trump off the ballot in Michigan 02:40

LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Two lawsuits have been filed in Michigan that aim to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot.

The crux of their argument centers around Section III of the 14th Amendment, which has been used before but not regularly since after the American Civil War. 

"Trump, by trying to overturn the 2020 election and inciting the insurrection, the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, has made himself ineligible to run for president," said Mark Brewer, one of the attorneys for the case. "That provision prohibits people who engage in conduct like that, try to overturn an election and overturn the results. It prohibits people like that from running for office."

The lawsuit is against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who has said she would not keep Trump off the ballot unless a court orders her not to. 

"We filed a suit to get the court order that the secretary has asked for to declare Trump ineligible," Brewer said. 

Benson's office could not comment on the pending litigation on Monday. 

Brewer's lawsuit is brought by four Michigan voters whom he did not name and joins a pending lawsuit brought by the organization Free Speech for People. 

"I think we have a very strong case," Brewer said. "There is no doubt in my mind that based on Trump's conduct, trying to overturn the 2020 election and then fomenting the riot, the rebellion that attempted to overturn the results on January 6, that he is not eligible to run for president."

If the lawsuit in Michigan is successful, Trump would not appear on the primary ballot in February 2024, nor would he appear on the general election ballot if he were to win the Republican Party's nomination. 

"Everybody is subject to the rule of law," Brewer said. "If you engage in the kind of conduct that Trump engaged in trying to overturn elections, the Constitution is very clear. You cannot run for public office ever again. So that's all my clients are trying to do is make sure the Constitution, the law applies to everybody, including Mr. Trump."

CBS News Detroit reached out to the Michigan Republican Party and the Ingham County Republican Party for comment but did not hear back.   

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