The Oregon Supreme Court announced Friday it will not hear a lawsuit that aims to have former President Donald Trump from appearing on the Oregon ballot.
The court says because the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue an expedited decision on a case out of Colorado pertaining to Trump’s eligibility, it will wait to hear what the high court rules. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled last month that Trump is ineligible for the primary ballot, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, dubbed as the “insurrection clause.” Trump has appealed and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments next month.
The Oregon Supreme Court said once that ruling comes down, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit can file a new petition if there are any outstanding questions that the U.S. Supreme Court did not address.
The advocacy group Free Speech For People filed a lawsuit last month on behalf of five Oregon voters. Their claim is that Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021, disqualifies him from the ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. That clause prevents people from holding office if they have taken part in an insurrection.
The lawsuit was in response to Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade’s announcement that she does not have the legal authority to remove Trump from the primary ballot.
In her Nov. 30 announcement, Secretary Griffin-Valade cited consultations with the Oregon Department of Justice in her decision. She said a presidential primary is not a case of someone being elected. Instead, it’s a chance for voters to tell their party who they prefer to be the nominee. Delegates at the national convention ultimately decide who that nominee will be.
Griffin-Valade also said her decision affects the primary election, not the general election next November. She said, “When the general election comes, we’ll follow the law and be completely transparent with our reasoning.”
Trump’s legal team submitted a filing to the Oregon Supreme Court laying out why he should stay on the ballot.
Here is the full announcement from the Oregon Supreme Court:
Today, the Oregon Supreme 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.
Relators had asked the Court to direct the Oregon Secretary of State to disqualify Donald J. Trump based on section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; in response, the secretary contended that she had no authority under Oregon law, at the primary election stage, to consider Mr. Trump’s qualification to serve as President.
After relators filed their challenge in the Oregon Supreme Court (as a mandamus petition), the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Donald J. Trump v. Norma Anderson, et al. (No. 23- 719), to review a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court that had ruled on arguments made under the Fourteenth Amendment that are identical to some arguments advanced by relators.
The United States Supreme Court has set an expedited briefing and argument schedule in that case, with oral argument scheduled for February 8, 2024. Oregon’s presidential primary ballots must be finalized by March 21, 2024.
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, by order, but 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.