Oregon Supreme Court Punts Trump Ballot Question To U.S. Supreme Court


The Oregon Supreme Court on Friday declined to hear a case that could have kept Donald Trump off the state’s ballots in 2024, citing a pending U.S. Supreme Court hearing on the matter.

Five Oregon voters are seeking to disqualify the former president based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars from state or federal office anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the nation after having sworn an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

The group initially asked Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade to strike Trump from Oregon’s primary and general-election ballots. After she declined, arguing that state law didn’t grant her that authority, the voters appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court.

In a 4-3 decision last month, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol met the 14th Amendment threshold, barring him from the ballot there.

One week later, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows reached a similar conclusion.

The U.S. Supreme Court this month agreed to review the Colorado decision, with oral arguments scheduled to begin Feb. 8.

Free Speech for People, the advocacy group representing the Oregon voters, said it was disappointed in the court’s “decision not to decide,” but it emphasized that the decision isn’t necessarily a win for Trump.

“Importantly, the Oregon Supreme Court did not rule against the plaintiffs on any of the merits,” the group noted in a statement.

“It did not say that January 6 was not an ‘insurrection,’” the statement went on. “It did not say that Trump did not ‘engage’ in it; it did not say that Section 3 doesn’t apply to him; it did not say that Congress must pass a law to enforce Section 3; and it did not say that Oregon cannot enforce Section 3 on its own, including for presidential candidates.”

Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung, meanwhile, cast the non-decision as a victory and described the legal challenges as “election interference.”

“Today’s decision in Oregon was the correct one,” Cheung said in an emailed statement. “President Trump urges the swift dismissal of all remaining, bad-faith, election interference 14th Amendment ballot challenges as they are un-Constitutional attempts by allies of Crooked Joe Biden to disenfranchise millions of American voters and deny them their right to vote for the candidate of their choice.”

Oregon’s presidential primary ballots must be finalized by March 21. Trump is currently far and away the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination.



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