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Trump will remain on Oregon presidential primary ballot, for now

Donald Trump may remain on Oregon’s presidential primary ballot – for now – after the state’s supreme court said they would not take up a challenge to his eligibility.

Following in the footsteps of the Michigan Supreme Court, justices on the Oregon Supreme Court said they would not pick up the petition seeking to remove Mr Trump from the primary ballot under Section Three of the 14th Amendment – known as the “insurrection clause” but left the door open to revisit the issue after the US Supreme Court rules on the matter.

The justices said in a filing that the petition was denied “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.”

In doing so, Oregon becomes the latest state to decline to rule on a series of challenges brought by voters to prevent the former president from appearing on primary ballots by claiming he violated the constitution due to his actions on January 6, 2021.

Five registered voters in Oregon, represented by the Free Speech For People, asked the Oregon Supreme Court to intervene in December after Oregeon’s Secretary of State, LaVonne Griffin-Valade, declined to disqualify Mr Trump from the primary ballot.

Ms Griffin-Valade, as well as the Oregon Solicitor General, said the state’s secretary did not have the authority to determine the qualifications of a primary candidate and is only responsible for placing the major-party presidential candidates recognized in national news media on the ballot.

She said the question around Mr Trump’s eligibility under Section Three of the 14th Amendment would have to be determined by convention delegates or the courts.

Free Speech For People disagreed with the argument and asked the Oregon Supreme Court to step in, saying the state secretary had the authority, citing a previous case where a gubernatorial candidate was disqualified due to residency issues.

In his brief to the state supreme court, Mr Trump’s lawyer said plainly that no Oregon law allowed the Oregon Secretary of State the authority or obligation to determine the qualifications or remove a major political party’s nominee. They made no mention of the Section Three argument.

The argument around Mr Trump’s eligibility under Section Three of the 14th Amendment is currently in the hands of the US Supreme Court, which will hear arguments on the ballot in Colorado on February 8.

Colorado became the first state to disqualify Mr Trump in December. Maine’s Secretary of State made a similar decision shortly after, which Mr Trump quickly appealed to the Maine Superior Court.