Michigan sec. of state says states need ‘clarity’ on Trump ballot eligibility

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) said states need “clarity” on former President Trump’s ballot eligibility in Saturday comments.

“[W]e need clarity,” Benson said in an interview on MSNBC’s “The Weekend.” “I mean, you can’t have a scenario in which voters are uncertain, or a political party is uncertain or election administrators are uncertain as to who should be on the ballot.”

Benson filed a brief last month in the Supreme Court case on the former president’s ballot eligibility in which she said that it is “vital that the Court answer the central questions of this case— whether the former President is disqualified from serving as President, and if so, whether a state has the power to exclude him from the primary or general election ballot on that basis.”

“These questions must be fully answered now because election officials, like the Secretary, need to know whether the former President is eligible to appear on the ballot as a candidate, and voters deserve to know whether he is eligible to hold the office of President before casting their votes,” Benson’s brief read. 

In an oral argument Thursday, the Supreme Court appeared hesitant to go ahead with blocking Trump from appearing on the ballot.

Several of the justices on the nation’s highest court gave the impression of being sympathetic to the former president’s argument that states do not have the authority to disqualify federal candidates. Some of them also questioned if the Insurrection Clause in the 14th Amendment applies to the presidency.

“What’s a state doing deciding who other citizens get to vote for president?” Justice Elena Kagan asked.

Chief Justice John Roberts also noted what he called a “daunting consequence” of other states possibly moving to kick Democratic candidates off of the ballot if the court disqualifies Trump.

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