Maine’s Democrat Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, on Thursday determined that former President Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s ballot, but the decision will not be carried out until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on the controversial state rulings, which continue to pile up.
Like the left-leaning justices in Colorado, Bellows said Trump is disqualified based on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, or the Insurrection Clause.
In the ruling, Bellows wrote that she held a hearing on December 15 on three challenges to Trump’s nomination. The first two, she said, “contest Mr. Trump’s qualification for office under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
“The third challenge, filed by Paul Gordon (the ‘Gordon Challenge’), contests Mr. Trump’s qualification under the Twenty-Second Amendment,” the ruling reads.
“For the reasons set forth below, I conclude that Mr. Trump’s primary petition is invalid,” she wrote.
“Specifically, I find that the declaration on his candidate consent form is false because he is not qualified to hold the office of the President under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment,” it reads:
ELECTION INTERFERENCE! pic.twitter.com/iKXErPj9Zd
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) December 29, 2023
Despite that, Bellows’ decision will not be carried out until the Supreme Court finally makes a determination on this issue, “given the compressed timeframe, the novel constitutional questions involved, the importance of this case, and impending ballot preparation deadlines,” per the secretary of state’s office.
Her decision follows a legal filing from Trump’s team on Wednesday arguing that Bellows should recuse herself from the case, deeming her a “completely biased Democrat partisan.”
The decision also follows the Colorado Supreme Court ruling in a 4-3 opinion that the Constitution’s ‘Insurrection Clause’ prohibits former Trump from appearing on the ballot.
“We consider and reject President Trump’s argument that his speech on January 6 was protected by the First Amendment,” the ruling reads in part.
However, Trump’s team is appealing the decision, and his name will still appear on the Colorado primary ballot as that process plays out.
“With the appeal filed, Donald Trump will be included as a candidate on Colorado’s 2024 Presidential Primary Ballot when certification occurs on January 5, 2024, unless the US Supreme Court declines to take the case or otherwise affirms the Colorado Supreme Court ruling,” Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold office said in a press release.
This update is not surprising, however, as the court stated in its own opinion that the ruling would be stayed until January 4, 2024, and that the stay would continue if anyone filed a cert petition by that day. The ruling stated:
If review is sought in the Supreme Court before the stay expires on January 4, 2024, then the stay shall remain in place, and the Secretary will continue to be required to include President Trump’s name on the 2024 presidential primary ballot, until the receipt of any order or mandate from the Supreme Court.
Trump’s team quickly made it clear that it would do so.
“The Colorado Supreme Court issued a completely flawed decision tonight and we will swiftly file an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and a concurrent request for a stay of this deeply undemocratic decision,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement at the time.
“We have full confidence that the Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these un-American lawsuits,” he added.
The news also follows the Michigan Supreme Court rejecting an appeal rooted in the Constitution’s “Insurrection Clause” — although on procedural grounds — meaning Trump will remain on the ballot for the upcoming primary in that state.
As Breitbart News detailed:
However, the Michigan Supreme Court did not delve into whether or not it believed Trump engaged in insurrection as rooted in Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. Rather, the court rejected the attempt to appeal, lodged by an advocacy group, on procedural grounds, leaving undisturbed the decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals. The lower court determined that the question is irrelevant at this point in time in relation to Trump’s placement on the presidential primary ballot in the Wolverine State.
Trump’s legal team, meanwhile, remains confident that the Supreme Court will ultimately rule in their favor, as these instances of “lawfare” continue to pile up.