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Trump candidacy challenge dismissed in Massachusetts

Former President Trump will be allowed on Massachusetts’s presidential primary ballot, following a state panel’s dismissal of two challenges.

The Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission on Monday rejected two attempts to keep Trump off the ballot, stating it “does not have jurisdiction over the matters presented.”

The two ballot eligibility challenges followed the same line of argument as a series of others across the nation that invoke the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause. The challenges argued Trump cannot appear on the primary or general ballots because he “engaged in a rebellion against the Constitution.”

The dismissals are a victory for the Trump campaign, which celebrated the decision Tuesday.

“Yesterday, the Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission dealt another blow to Biden Democrats and their Election Interference attempt to disenfranchise millions of American voters by trying to remove President Trump from the ballot,” the campaign wrote in a statement.

“In discarding this latest hoax, the commission sided with the Constitution, ensuring that the people of Massachusetts will have the right to vote for the candidate of their choice in 2024.”

The Bay State will hold its primary on March 5, or Super Tuesday, along with 15 other states.

The state’s Ballot Law Commission met last week for a pre-hearing conference where they heard arguments on procedural matters.

As they’ve done in other challenges across the country, Trump’s representation pushed the commission to toss the case.

“There is nothing in the case law or the statutes that the commission is required to follow that says qualification to be on a ballot is a precondition to appear on the ballot,” Trump lawyer Marc Salinas said, per CNN.

The commission is a bipartisan panel of five members appointed by the state’s governor.

The challenges were among several across the country testing the former president’s eligibility to run for president.

Most of the challenges to Trump’s ballot have been unsuccessful, though in two states — Colorado and Maine — the state’s Supreme Court and top elections official issued decisions, respectively, to eliminate Trump’s name from each state’s primary ballot.

Trump’s appeal of Colorado’s decision will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court beginning in February. Maine’s case was appealed in the state’s Superior Court, and the justice assigned to the case issued a ruling last week to delay judgement until the nation’s highest court weighs in on the matter.

The Massachusetts decision came one day ahead of the first-in-the-nation primary in nearby New Hampshire, where a polling index by The Hill and Decision Desk HQ shows Trump leading former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley by nearly 14 points.

He easily won in last week’s Iowa’s caucuses, beating Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by nearly 30 points. DeSantis suspended his campaign Sunday following the disappointing showing in the Hawkeye State.

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