Trump Can Stay on G.O.P. Primary Ballot in Michigan, Judge Rules

A state judge in Michigan partly rejected an effort to disqualify former President Donald J. Trump from running for president in the state, ruling that Mr. Trump will remain on the ballot in the Republican primary, and that the state’s top elections official does not have the authority alone to exclude him from the ballot.

But the judge appeared to leave the door open for a future battle over Mr. Trump’s eligibility as a candidate in the general election, saying that the issue “is not ripe for adjudication at this time.”

The ruling notches a preliminary victory for Mr. Trump in a nationwide battle over his eligibility to run for president again, even as he faces a wave of legal scrutiny in other cases — including 91 felony charges in four different jurisdictions.

Plaintiffs across the country have argued that Mr. Trump is ineligible to hold office again under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which disqualifies anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution after having taken an oath to support it, citing his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

These efforts have played out as Mr. Trump engages in ever-darker rhetoric that critics say echoes that of fascist dictators, vowing to root out his political opponents like “vermin.”

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Mr. Trump’s 2024 campaign, said in a statement that the campaign welcomed the ruling and “anticipates the future dismissals of the other 14th Amendment cases.”

Judge James Robert Redford of the Court of Claims in Michigan said that the disqualification of a candidate through the 14th Amendment “is a nonjusticiable, political” issue and that it was up to Congress, and not the courts, to settle the matter.

In his 26-page ruling in Mr. Trump’s case, Judge Redford explained that the disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment presented complex questions — for example, what qualifies as an insurrection or rebellion — that were ultimately inappropriate to be resolved in court.

Judge Redford’s order ended a lawsuit that Mr. Trump had filed against Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state. Ms. Benson had previously declined to disqualify Mr. Trump, but his lawyers argued that she had created “uncertainty” about his ballot eligibility while efforts in the state were underway seeking to disqualify him.

“I am gratified that today’s court rulings affirm my position that under Michigan law anyone generally advocated by the national news media to be a candidate for the Republican or Democratic nomination for president must be listed on the ballot in our February 2024 primary,” Ms. Benson said in a statement.

The disqualification efforts in Michigan included two cases that had sought court orders that would force Ms. Benson to disqualify Mr. Trump. Judge Redford also ruled in those cases on Tuesday, denying the plaintiffs’ requests.

The plaintiffs in one of those cases, LaBrant v. Benson, said they would appeal the ruling.

Disqualification efforts have also been rejected in other states. The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a similar petition last week. And a case in New Hampshire was also dismissed last month.

The rulings in these cases will not be final. They will almost certainly be appealed by the losing side, and the Supreme Court — which has a 6-3 conservative majority, including three justices appointed by Mr. Trump — is likely to have the final say.

Maggie Astor contributed reporting.

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