In a bold move, former President Donald Trump has been removed from Maine’s presidential primary ballot by the state’s Democratic secretary of state, Shenna Bellows. This decision comes after the Colorado Supreme Court ruling that also barred Trump from their ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
Nonetheless, the implementation of these decisions is currently suspended pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s determination of whether Trump is ineligible for office owing to his purported participation in the Capitol insurrection.
The Trump campaign has expressed its intention to appeal Bellows’ decision through the state court system in Maine. Ultimately, the final verdict on whether Trump will appear on the ballot in Maine and other states will likely rest with the nation’s highest court.
Bellows’ determination was based on the argument that Trump’s role in the January 6th, 2021, Capitol incursion violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Her ruling came after a group of Maine residents, including former lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum, challenged Trump’s eligibility to appear on the ballot.
In her 34-page ruling, Bellows recognized the significance of her decision, expressing, “This conclusion is not one I have come to easily. It is unprecedented for a Secretary of State to deny a presidential candidate ballot access under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Section 3. Yet, it is also unprecedented for a presidential candidate to have participated in an insurrection.”
As expected, the Trump campaign quickly condemned the ruling, claiming it was an effort to manipulate the election and disenfranchise American voters. Campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung labeled Bellows as a “staunchly left-wing” and “intensely partisan Democrat in favor of Biden.”
Although Maine only has four electoral votes, it is one of two states that split them. In the 2020 election, Trump won one of Maine’s electors. Therefore, his removal from the ballot could have significant implications if he becomes the GOP’s general election candidate, particularly in a race that is expected to be closely contested.
Conversely, Colorado, a state Trump lost by 13 percentage points in the 2020 election, is not expected to be a key battleground for him in the forthcoming election should he obtain the Republican presidential nomination.