Shenna Bellows Defends Her ‘Unprecedented’ Move Kicking Trump Off Ballot

[Screenshot/CNN/"Anderson Cooper 360"]

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Democratic Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows defended her decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s ballot Thursday on CNN, acknowledging how the move was “unprecedented.” 

Bellows appeared on “Anderson Cooper 360” to discuss her decision in removing the former president from the state’s GOP primary ballot due to allegedly violating the 14th Amendment’s insurrectionist ban. CNN guest host John Berman read the Trump campaign’s response to the decision, questioning the secretary of state on if the move could “somehow” be “disenfranchising Maine voters.” 

Bellows stated not only was she “mindful” in her decision and its “unprecedented” nature, but no presidential candidate had ever “engaged in insurrection” before. (RELATED: Maine Secretary Of State Disqualifies Trump From Primary Ballot)

So — again, I am so mindful – and I said this in my decision – that it is unprecedented. No secretary of state has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section Three of the 14th Amendment. But no presidential candidate has ever engaged in insurrection and been disqualified under Section Three of the 14th Amendment,” Bellows stated. 

In an earlier press release regarding the decision, Bellows claimed Trump had “used a false narrative of election fraud to inflame his supporters and direct them to the Capitol to prevent certification of the 2020 election and the peaceful transfer of power,” in regards to the Jan. 6 events. The secretary of state additionally alleged the former president “was aware of the likelihood for violence and at least initially supported its use given he both encouraged it with incendiary rhetoric and took no timely action to stop it.”

Bellows pointed out the state heard three challenges related to the nomination of Trump, two of which argued the former president had allegedly violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. The other argued Trump was disqualified under the 22nd Amendment due his claim he won the 2020 Election. The latter argument was dismissed due to Biden having won the election. (RELATED: ‘Illegal And Brazen Election Interference’: Republicans Rip Maine Secretary Of State For Removing Trump From Ballot)

Maine has become the second state to remove Trump from the upcoming 2024 GOP primary ballot, using the 14th’s Amendment’s insurrectionist ban. However, while Colorado’s Supreme Court had announced the removal of the former president from their ballot Dec. 19, the state’s secretary of state stepped in Thursday to say Trump would be back on the ballot.

Democratic Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said while the former president would be added back on to the state’s primary ballot due to an appeal from the decision, she urged the U.S. Supreme Court “to act quickly.”