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Michigan Supreme Court asked to hear appeal of ruling in Trump ballot case

Attorneys for a group of Michigan activists are asking the state Supreme Court to hear an appeal of a lower court’s ruling that would allow former President Donald Trump’s name on the state’s presidential primary ballot.

Filings late Thursday afternoon seek an “immediate and expedited consideration” for appeal and an “emergency application” to bypass the state Appeals Court.

The Supreme Court is asked to render a decision by Dec. 1, a reversal of the lower court’s ruling and remanding the lower court to conduct an evidentiary hearing on Trump’s eligibility to be placed on the primary ballot.

“It is a virtual certainty that any decision by the Court of Appeals will be appealed to this court by the party that does not prevail,” the filing read. “But with the pressing need to finalize and print the ballots for the presidential primary election, there is not time for considered decisions from both the Court of Appeals and this court. Time is therefore of the essence in this election case.”

The liberal group Free Speech for People had sued to force Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to bar Trump from the ballot. They pointed to a section of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment that prohibits a person from running for federal office if they have engaged in insurrection.

But Court of Claims Judge James Redford rejected their arguments that Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol meant the court had to declare him ineligible for the presidency. Redford said in an order released Tuesday that it was the proper role of Congress to decide the question.

A Trump campaign spokesman said Tuesday that the cases are an attempt to “deny the American people the right to choose their next president.”

Dozens of cases hoping to keep Trump’s name off ballots have been filed. Most have been filed by individual citizens acting alone. But the Michigan case, one in Colorado and another in Minnesota are supported by liberal groups with deeper pockets and better resources.

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