A left-wing nonprofit organization, Free Speech For People, has taken legal action in Michigan to prevent former President Donald Trump from appearing on the 2024 ballot. The group alleges that Trump’s actions during the January 6 Capitol protest provide sufficient grounds, under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, to bar him from running for office again.

 

The organization’s attorney, Mark Brewer, initiated the lawsuit on Friday on behalf of a group of Michigan voters identified as Andrew Bradway, Norah Murphy, Robert LaBrant and William Nowling.

Brewer, the former Michigan Democratic Party Chair, argues that during the Jan. 6 events at the Capitol, Trump failed to act despite knowing that violence was unfolding. According to the lawsuit, he refused repeated requests to instruct his supporters to disperse, instead seemingly reveling in the violent attack as it was broadcast on television screens across the nation.

“The events of January 6, 2021, amounted to an insurrection or rebellion under Section 3: a violent, coordinated effort to storm the Capitol to obstruct and prevent the Vice President of the United States and the United States Congress from fulfilling their constitutional roles by certifying President Biden’s victory, and to illegally extend then-President Trump’s tenure in office,” Brewer asserted.

Michigan is not the first state where Free Speech For People has attempted to block Trump’s appearance on the ballot. Similar efforts were made in Minnesota and New Hampshire, although New Hampshire’s Secretary of State, David Scanlan, blocked the move.

In a press conference in September, Scanlan emphasized that as long as Trump submits his declaration of candidacy, signs it under the penalties of perjury, and pays the $1,000 filing fee, his name will appear on the presidential primary ballot. 

He further warned against the potential consequences of barring Trump from the electoral process, suggesting that it could lead to “chaos, confusion, anger, and frustration,” as some states permit his name while others disqualify it.

“At a time when we need to ensure transparency and build confidence among voters around the country, the delegate selection process should not be the battleground to test this constitutional question,” Scanian stated.