Maine Joins Colorado in Disqualifying Trump from 2024 Republican Primary Ballot

Maine has become the second state, following Colorado, to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 Republican primary ballot. The state’s top election official, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, cited Section 3 of the 14th Amendment as the basis for the decision, which prohibits elected officials from holding office if they participated in an insurrection.

The move came after a hearing on challenges related to Trump’s nomination petition, filed by Mary Ann Royal, Kimberly Rosen, Thomas Saviello, and Ethan Strimling. These challenges raised concerns about Trump’s qualification under the “insurrectionist ban” of the 14th Amendment.

In her decision, Bellows stated, “I conclude that Mr. Trump’s primary petition is invalid,” citing false information on his candidate consent form and his disqualification under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Bellows emphasized that evidence indicated the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot occurred at the “behest of” Donald Trump and that the challengers presented meaningful evidence of an insurrection.

Trump argued that his interpretation of an insurrection requires it to be “violent enough, potent enough, long enough, and organized enough to be considered a significant step on the way to rebellion,” a view Bellows deemed “poorly supported by evidence.”

One attorney challenging Trump’s candidacy invoked the 22nd Amendment, alleging Trump’s violation of the two-term limit by claiming victory in the 2020 election. Other challengers focused on the 14th Amendment, accusing Trump of inciting an insurrection.

Trump criticized the Colorado decision in mid-December, calling it a “weaponization” of the Justice Department and urging the withdrawal of “Fake, Political Indictments” against him. Bellows maintained her authority throughout the hearing, asserting the power to decide who qualifies for the ballot.

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