Trump to remain on Michigan ballot as judge dismisses insurrection lawsuit

Fulton County DA Fani Willis speculates that Georgia election trial may not conclude until 2025.

Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

On Tuesday, the Michigan Court of Claims dismissed a lawsuit that challenged Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential candidacy for attempting to overturn the 2020 election results during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

On behalf of a group of Michigan voters, Free Speech For People filed the lawsuit in September to call on Secretary Benson of Michigan to disqualify Trump from office for “having engaged in insurrection and rebellion against the U.S. Constitution that began in late 2020 and culminated in the violent insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

In response to the ruling, Free Speech For People criticized the court for failing to address “Trump’s conduct in engaging and leading rebellion and insurrection against the Constitution.” The organization asserted that the court relied on a Michigan state law that allows political parties to make “the ultimate decision” of which presidential candidates may appear on the ballot, which implies that “neither the Secretary of State nor the court has any role in the state-run primary election if the party chooses to list a candidate who would not qualify for the office.”

“While our appeal is pending, the trial court’s decision isn’t binding on any other court, and we continue our current and planned legal actions in other states to enforce Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment against Donald Trump,” Fein, the legal director of Free Speech For People, said in a statement.

At the same time, Fulton County District Attorney (DA) Fani Willis made an emergency request for a protective order after footage of conversations between witnesses and prosecutors was leaked to the public. Trump faces charges of racketeering and conspiracy related to attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in this Georgia trial.

In a filing obtained by the Washington Post, Willis wrote: “The State of Georgia, by and through Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis, and on an EMERGENCY BASIS renews its prior request that this court enter a protective order over all discovery materials produced by the state to any defendant in this matter.” He added that “the release of these confidential videos was clearly intended to intimidate witnesses in this case, subjugating them to harassment and threats prior to trial.”

In an interview with the newspaper, Willis also speculated that the Georgia election trial might not conclude until 2025. “I think the case will be on appeals for years. But, I believe in that case, there will be a trial. I believe the trial will take many months. And I don’t expect that we will conclude until the winter or the very early part of 2025,” she stated.