Oregon Supreme Court declines to rule on Trump ballot removal case, cites pending U.S. Supreme Court 14th Amendment case as reason

 January 13, 2024

Opponents of former President Donald Trump have filed lawsuits in several states nationwide to try to have him removed from primary and general election ballots as ineligible to hold office under the "insurrection" clause in Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.

One such lawsuit was filed in Oregon by a leftist anti-Trump organization, but the Oregon Supreme Court announced on Friday that it had declined to hear the case for now, according to The Washington Times.

The reason given by Oregon's justices for the non-ruling on Trump's ballot eligibility was that they preferred to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a final ruling on the matter following a pending review of the Colorado Supreme Court's stayed ruling last month to remove Trump from the ballot under the 14th Amendment due to his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 that some have attempted to label an "insurrection" against the government.

Court defers on decision for now

The Oregon Supreme Court issued a one-page media release on Friday to announce that the court "declined to hear, for now, a challenge by five Oregon voters (relators) seeking to preclude Donald J. Trump from appearing on the Oregon 2024 Republican primary and general election ballots."

Those voters had filed what is known as a mandamus petition that essentially asked the court to order Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade to bar Trump from the ballot after the secretary cited a lack of authority to do so in response to an earlier request, the Oregon Capital Chronicle reported.

The justices noted that the U.S. Supreme Court had decided to take up the Colorado ballot case after the voters had filed the petition for mandamus and would review the Colorado court's 14th Amendment ballot removal decision on "an expedited briefing and argument schedule" that included oral arguments on February 8, well before the March 21 deadline for primary ballots to be printed in Oregon.

"Because a decision by the United States Supreme Court regarding the Fourteenth Amendment issue may resolve one or more contentions that relators make in the Oregon proceeding, the Oregon Supreme Court denied their petition for mandamus," the release stated.

It added, however, that the order was made "without prejudice to their ability to file a new petition seeking resolution of any issue that may remain following a decision by the United States Supreme Court."

Leftist anti-Trump group seeks to deny voters their choice of candidate

The Oregon voters who filed that ballot removal lawsuit, which would disenfranchise voters who support former President Trump, were backed by a leftist anti-Trump organization with the ironic name of Free Speech for People.

That group has insisted that Trump incited and supported the "insurrection" that was the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and has proudly backed legal efforts to have Trump declared disqualified from holding office given the 14th Amendment's prohibition of such for individuals who "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" after having previously sworn an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

The Capital Chronicle reported that the Free Speech for People organization said the state supreme court's decision was "disappointing" in that "Waiting until the U.S. Supreme Court issues its order only compresses the time that the Oregon Supreme Court may have to resolve the issues that may remain if the U.S. Supreme Court does not fully resolve all the issues in this case."

The outlet noted that Trump, who has long denied any wrongdoing and insisted that the Capitol riot was not an "insurrection," intervened in the Oregon case and argued both that the voters lacked standing to sue as well as that the courts lacked any authority to decide who is and isn't qualified to appear on primary election ballots.

Trump campaign weighs in on "correct" Oregon decision

Following the Oregon Supreme Court's release, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement, "Today's decision in Oregon was the correct one."

"President Trump urges the swift dismissal of all remaining, bad-faith, election interference 14th Amendment ballot challenges as they are un-Constitutional attempts by allies of Crooked Joe Biden to disenfranchise millions of American voters and deny them their right to vote for the candidate of their choice," he added. "President Trump will continue to fight these desperate shams, win in November, and Make America Great Again."

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