Maine’s Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, recently disqualified former President Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot, citing alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
Bellows, a Democrat, emphasized that her decision was solely based on upholding the Constitution, denying any influence from politics or personal views.
Trump campaign’s response and accusations
The ruling, similar to Colorado’s, invoked Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, preventing candidates engaged in insurrection from holding federal office.
The Trump campaign criticized Bellows’ decision, branding her as a “virulent leftist” and accusing her of partisan election interference favoring President Biden.
Bellows clarifies: Legal obligation, not initiative
However, Bellows clarified that her involvement stemmed from registered voters challenging Trump’s qualification, a process required under Maine election law.
She asserted that she didn’t initiate this, but it was a legal obligation.
Reviewing evidence and constitutional grounds
Bellows outlined a careful review of the evidence presented during a hearing, highlighting that the Jan. 6 violence occurred with the support and knowledge of the outgoing president.
She underscored the Constitution’s intolerance for attacks on government foundations and emphasized Maine’s legal process, leading to the Superior Court, Maine Supreme Judicial Court, and potentially, the U.S. Supreme Court.
Maine and Colorado’s decisions spark controversy
The decisions by Maine and Colorado provoked widespread controversy, drawing criticism from Trump supporters, GOP officials, and even some Democrats.
Representative Jared Golden, who previously voted to impeach Trump, expressed concern over potential overreach.
Bellows responded by emphasizing that the Constitution doesn’t mandate a conviction for disqualification under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
Bellows explains decision and Trump’s appellate options
Bellows clarified that her decision, pending court review, is part of Maine’s process, acknowledging that Trump could appeal to the Superior Court, followed by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.
With the deadline for Maine’s presidential primary approaching, she suspended the decision’s effect and expressed hope for a swift resolution through the legal system.
Bellows open to Supreme Court decision on Trump’s eligibility in Maine primary
Bellows expressed openness to a Supreme Court decision clarifying Trump’s eligibility, recognizing the compressed timeline faced by the courts in Maine.
As the legal battle unfolds, the controversy over Trump’s inclusion or exclusion from Maine’s presidential primary intensifies, setting the stage for a pivotal judicial resolution.