Maine Ballot Donald Trump has escalated the ongoing legal dispute by filing a lawsuit against the secretary of state in Maine after being disqualified from the state’s primary ballot due to his involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack. This move introduces a new legal battleground in the debate over whether certain states will bar voters from selecting Trump as the Republican frontrunner.
National Debate Over Insurrection Clause
As election officials and courts across states grapple with the question of whether Trump’s actions on January 6 align with the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment, only two states—Maine and Colorado—have opted to remove Trump from primary ballots based on this provision.
Legal Dynamics in Different States: Maine Ballot
While the decision in Colorado awaits consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court, Maine’s secretary of state, Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, made the decision that Trump now challenges. Trump’s initial legal recourse is a lawsuit filed in state court against Bellows’ decision.
Trump’s Allegations and Bellows’ Defense
In the lawsuit, Trump criticizes Bellows as a “biased decisionmaker” and contends that his disqualification resulted from a “process infected by bias and pervasive lack of due process.”
Bellows, in response, maintains that her decision is based on the evidence indicating that the insurrection “occurred at the behest of, and with the knowledge and support of, the outgoing President (Trump).” She asserts that the Constitution “does not tolerate an assault on the foundations of our government.”
14th Amendment Provision at the Core: Maine Ballot
The focal point of contention revolves around a provision in the 14th Amendment that prohibits individuals from serving as president or a member of Congress if they previously took an oath as an “officer of the United States” and subsequently “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.”
Temporary Suspension and Unprecedented Nature: Maine Ballot
Bellows has temporarily suspended the impact of her decision, pending resolution through the legal system. She highlights the unprecedented nature of a presidential candidate engaging in insurrection, emphasizing that no secretary of state has ever denied a presidential candidate ballot access.