Landmark Files Brief Urging Michigan Court of Appeals to Reject Arguments that Federal Candidates Can be Found in Violation of the 14th Amendment in State Court
Landmark files brief urging Michigan Court of Appeals to reject arguments that federal candidates can be found in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment in state court.

The Fourteenth Amendment does not disqualify former-President Trump from holding office.

December 6, 2023. Today, Landmark filed a brief urging a Michigan Court of Appeals to reject arguments that Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment disqualifies former-President Donald Trump from holding office. Put simply, the Plaintiffs-Appellants argue that Donald Trump’s actions and words on January 6, 2021, and the days preceding, amount to insurrection which would make him ineligible from serving as President.
Landmark argues Plaintiffs-Appellants are wrong for three reasons . First, if a court were to adopt the low threshold for insurrection offered by the Plaintiffs-Appellants, private parties could force state courts to declare opposition candidates ineligible based on speeches those candidates may have given in the past. For example, Representative Rashida Talib’s recent speech supporting pro-Palestinian protestors who went on disrupt Congress and injure police could be labeled insurrection.

Next, Landmark argues that Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment is not self-executing. In other words, Congress needs to pass a law empowering private parties (like Plaintiffs-Appellants) to bring their challenges in state courts. The text, history and tradition of the Fourteenth Amendment all support this argument.

Finally, Landmark argues that former-President Trump never expressly advocated for any lawlessness or violence on January 6, 2021, or in days before it. To fall outside the protections of the First Amendment, a speaker needs to actually advocate for the alleged lawless action. Trump’s spoken words, his video message, and his tweets never rose to that level. In short, his words are protected political speech.
Oral arguments are scheduled for December 8, 2023. Updates will be forthcoming.

Read our brief here!




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