Trump Challenges Move To Keep Him Off The 2024 Ballot In Oregon Supreme Court
Former President Donald Trump has installed himself into the appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court by the non-profit organization Free Speech For People, against a preliminary decision by the Oregon Secretary of State on Trump’s inclusion on the 2024 Oregon election ballots.
The matter currently before the court is a response to the decision by Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade- a Democratic appointee, on November 30. She declared that she would not remove Trump from the state’s May 2024 primary ballot. Because Oregon law does not give her the authority to determine the qualifications of candidates in a presidential primary, she did not mention the general election in her announcement. The move to include Trump on the Oregon primary ballot was part of the standard processes that could only be varied by a court order.
Free Speech for People, who advocate for election fairness and voters’ rights, cited the 14th Amendment and referred to Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Arguing that- having sworn an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, Trump then engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the Constitution, alternatively he gave aid or comfort to the enemies of the United States. They contend that- as a result, he is disqualified from public office.
Enacted in the wake of the Civil War, this arcane provision of the U.S. Constitution was also the basis of decisions by the Colorado Supreme Court and by Maine’s secretary of state who ruled that Trump cannot appear on the presidential primary ballots in their respective states. Conversely, California’s elections chief ruled on Friday that Trump could appear on their state’s ballot.
Joining the battle, multiple national political groups have stepped forward to get involved. Landmark Legal Foundation- the conservative legal advocacy group, engaged in similar challenges in other states, and also filed a motion seeking consent to submit a brief in favor of Trump in Oregon, but- citing a procedural error, the Supreme Court denied their motion on Friday.
Requesting the court’s consent to submit a brief opposing Trump, the Constitutional Accountability Center- a law firm that has filed several comparable motions against Trump in other states- the firm prevailed, and the court approved their motion.
Oregon lawyers Dan Meek and Jason Kafoury have been retained by Free Speech for People to lead its petition, and believe that the case to remove Trump from Oregon’s ballot is stronger than the case for removing him from the primary ballot because the 14th Amendment does not apply to a primary election. After all, it does not choose the president. Winning in Oregon does not mean that the winner is necessarily nominated. The path between the 14th Amendment to serving in office is separated by several steps, although Meek did concede that Oregon officials do not have the right to decide who is qualified to run in presidential primaries in the state.
Trump and his legal representatives filed a 162-page brief on Friday, setting out several Oregon legal precedents that they say should clear Trump’s path to the ballot. Claiming that Trump did not engage in the riot at the Capitol, they state that the events of January 6- despite including serious crimes and violence on the part of others, did not amount to an insurrection in the context of the 14th Amendment. This may be tested in the light of the report of the bipartisan committee of the U.S. House of Representatives last year, which found that Trump “refused to accept the lawful result of the 2020 election” and “refused repeated requests over a multiple-hour period that he instruct his violent supporters to disperse and leave the Capitol.”
Legal experts say that while the battles are currently being fought at the state level, there is no doubt that the issue will escalate and ultimately be placed before the US Supreme Court.