LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Former President Donald J. Trump has sued Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to ensure his name appears on the February Republican Primary ballot.
The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 30, before Michigan Second Court of Appeals Chief Judge Elizabeth L. Gleicher.
Attorneys Stephen and David Kallman, of the Delta Township’s Kallman Legal Group, PLLC; are representing Trump in the case. They argue that Benson has no legal authority to keep Trump off the Presidential primary ballot, even if he had engaged in insurrection.
The move comes after former state GOP spokesman Bill Nowling, retired political activist Bob LaBrant, Norah Murphy and Andrew Bradway sued Benson in a move to exclude Trump from the ballot. The quartet is represented by former Michigan Democratic Party Chair and election law expert Mark Brewer. That case was filed earlier this year.
Those plaintiffs argue Trump is disqualified for allegedly participating in an insurrection against the United States, reported Courthouse News Service.
Trump and his team argue that Jan. 6, 2021, did not meet the definitions of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. “They did not amount to levying war against the United States,” the lawyers argue.
They further argue that even if the actions on Jan. 6 amounted to insurrection, Trump would still be held harmless because a lack of action is not an engagement in, or participation in, an insurrection.
They conclude their arguments against the insurrection challenge with the following:
“President Trump’s speech regarding the 2020 Election up to and including his speech on the Ellipse of the White House on January 6, 2021, constitutes protected speech on a matter of public concern. None of it meets the stringent requirements for ‘incitement,’ both because the content itself is not sufficiently explicit and because it does not evince a specific intent to engage in unlawful activity.”
Trump is asking the court to prevent Benson from refusing to put him on the ballot. Candidates for the February 2024 Democratic and Republican Presidential Primaries have to be confirmed by November 14, 2023.