OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former President Donald Trump notched another legal victory of sorts in the ongoing battle with political opponents to remove him from various state ballots ahead of the 2024 election under the guise of the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection” clause.
The Oregon Supreme Court struck down an attempt to remove him from the ballot in the Beaver State, citing an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the issue.
“The unanimous decision by the court’s seven justices comes after both Colorado and Maine last month barred Trump from their primary ballots, finding that he engaged in insurrection related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the Colorado decision on Feb. 8,” Oregon Live reported.
Chief Justice Meagan Flynn wrote in explaining the court’s decision: “A decision by the United States Supreme Court regarding the Fourteenth Amendment issue may resolve one or more contentions (made) in this proceeding. Given that possibility, we deny (the petition) at this time, without prejudice to relators’ ability to file a new petition seeking resolution of any issue that may remain following a decision by the United States Supreme Court.”
Free Speech for People, the national nonprofit organization that initiated the challenge, characterized the decision as “disappointing.” In a statement, the organization noted that the Colorado case might be influenced by state-specific factors, suggesting that the outcome might not have relevance to the Oregon case, the outlet reported.
“Furthermore, no one knows when that decision will issue,” the statement said. “Waiting until the U.S. Supreme Court issues its order only compresses the time that the Oregon Supreme Court may have to resolve the issues that may remain if the U.S. Supreme Court does not fully resolve all the issues in this case.”
The group filed an appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court on Dec. 6 following Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade’s decision not to arbitrarily remove Trump from the ballot. That said, no Republican presidential contender has carried the deep blue state since President Ronald Reagan’s reelection in 1984.
In November, Griffin-Valade stated that state law does not grant her the authority to assess the eligibility of candidates in a presidential primary.
Meanwhile, also on Friday, a federal judge has given former President Donald Trump a much-needed victory in his case brought by Jack Smith.
The special counsel wanted to force Trump into sharing files about his defense strategy for the case, particularly on whether he wanted to blame his attorneys as his defense, which many experts said would violate attorney-client privilege.
Katie Phang, a legal analyst for MSNBC, said that in nixing the request, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon dealt a significant blow to Smith.
“Judge Cannon enters an ORDER denying, without prejudice, Special Counsel’s Motion to Compel Disclosure Regarding Advice-of-Counsel Defense,” the expert said. “Cannon basically says that it’s too early in the litigation to consider forcing Donald Trump to have to disclose this information.”
Cannon’s order read, “Assuming the facts and circumstances in this case warrant an order compelling disclosure of an advice-of-counsel trial defense the Court determines that such a request is not amenable to proper consideration at this juncture, prior to at least partial resolution of pre-trial motions, transmission to Defendants of the Special Counsel’s exhibit and witness lists, and other disclosures as may become necessary.”
Former US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Joyce Vance, said on X that Cannon will delay the case until after the election and may never allow it to take place.
“In the Mar-a-Lago case, Judge Cannon has just refused to enforce a routine deadline & it’s entirely clear she has no intention of letting this case go to trial before the election or possibly ever,” she wrote.
“So I think this is the key question because Trump’s overall strategy is one of delay, get everything past the election, hope that you win, and you can resolve everything from the Oval Office in your favor. And I think it’s been a little baffling to watch some of the judges like Aileen Cannon in the Florida Mar-a-Lago related criminal prosecution, where she has been playing slow ball trying to keep that case from going anywhere,” she told Phang last week.