Maine Secretary Of State Disqualifies Trump From Primary Ballot

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Maine became the second state to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 Republican primary ballot Thursday.

The state’s top election official removed the Republican frontrunner from the ballot, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits elected officials from holding office if they committed an insurrection. Maine became the second state to remove the former president from the state ballot after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision to do the same.

Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows held a hearing on three challenges related to the nomination petition of Trump, according to a copy of the decision. The petitions were separately filed by Mary Ann Royal, Kimberly Rosen and Thomas Saviello and Ethan Strimling, who challenged Trump’s qualification under the “insurrectionist ban” of the 14th Amendment.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states no person should hold elected office if they “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

“For the reasons set forth below, I conclude that Mr. Trump’s primary petition is invalid,” Bellows wrote. “Specifically, I find that the declaration on his candidate consent form if false because he is not qualified to hold the office of the President under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Bellows said evidence showed the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot happened at “the behest of” Donald Trump . She said the challengers presented meaningful evidence an insurrection occurred at the U.S. Capitol that day, and said Trump has not demonstrated any evidence to counter that argument. (RELATED: Turley Gives Single Reason All 9 SCOTUS Justices Should Cut Down Trump Ballot Ruling Without Any Dissenters) 

Trump has argued that an insurrection must be “violent enough, potent enough, long enough, and organized enough to be considered a significant step on the way to rebellion,” according to Bellows’ decision. She said Trump’s interpretation is “poorly supported by evidence.”

One attorney challenging Trump’s candidacy argued the former president violated the twenty-second amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which sets a two term limit for presidents, since he stated he had won the 2020 election, according to the decision. The other challengers all argued he violated the 14th Amendment by allegedly inciting an insurrection.

Bellows held a Dec. 15 hearing on the matter where the parties reportedly “exchanged exhibit and witness lists beforehand,” the decision reads.

She argued Trump’s concerns about the proceeding are “inadequate” since he had the chance to present witnesses and evidence, the Secretary of State wrote.

Bellows argued throughout the hearing she holds the power to decide who is qualified to be on the ballot.

Trump said the Colorado decision mid-December was a “weaponization” of the Justice Department.

“‘Justice’ weaponization is a very dirty game to play, and it can have repercussions far greater than anything that Biden or his Thugs could understand. They ought to withdraw all of their Fake, Political Indictments against their Republican Opponent, me, immediately. This is a Pandora’s box, that works two ways, and it should be closed and tightly sealed RIGHT NOW,” Trump wrote in a Dec. 19 Truth Social post.