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Michigan appeals court refuses to declare Ryan Kelley ineligible to be governor

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley
Ryan Kelley for Governor
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A screengrab from a campaign video for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley

The Michigan Court of Appeals has rejected a request to have Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley declared ineligible to be governor.

The request asked for Kelley to be barred under the “insurrection clause” of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, saying Kelley cannot hold state or federal office because he was part of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

The clause says no person can hold state or federal office if they've previously taken an oath to support the Constitution and then "engaged in insurrection or rebellion."

Kelley been charged with four federal misdemeanors, but the Michigan Court of Appeals refused the case because Kelley has not been convicted of any of those charges.

From the order: “We express no opinion whether Kelly engaged in ‘insurrection or rebellion’ or whether Kelley is qualified to serve as a gubernatorial candidate as a result.”

The three-judge panel also said the request to have Kelley declared ineligible to be governor came too close to the August 3 Republican primary.

The insurrection clause was added to the Constitution in the aftermath of the Civil War to bar former confederates from holding state or federal offices.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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