Major Development On Trump’s 2024 Ballot Case

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Wednesday evening, Maine’s highest court decided not to intervene in the ongoing debate about former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to be listed on the state’s ballot. This decision leaves in place a lower court’s ruling that the U.S. Supreme Court must first address a similar situation in Colorado.

Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, initially determined that Trump did not satisfy the requirements for ballot inclusion under the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause. However, this decision was temporarily suspended by a judge who is waiting for the Supreme Court’s verdict on a related case in Colorado.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court unanimously agreed to dismiss Bellows’ appeal against the order that instructed her to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision. This decision impacts whether or not to remove Trump from the primary ballot for Super Tuesday.

The court acknowledged the potential for voter confusion due to the delay in confirming Trump’s name on the primary ballot. However, they cited this uncertainty as the reason for refraining from immediate appellate review in this case.

Bellows’ initial ruling in December marked her as the first election official to disqualify the Republican frontrunner from the ballot under the 14th Amendment, a decision also reached by the state supreme court in Colorado.

With Maine’s primary scheduled for March 5, the timeline is tight. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the Colorado case on February 8, while Maine has already started sending ballots to overseas voters.

The 14th Amendment’s Section 3, which bars individuals who have engaged in insurrection from holding office, has yet to be interpreted by the nation’s highest court. Some legal experts believe this clause is applicable to Trump due to his actions challenging the 2020 election results.

Trump has argued that Bellows, who was elected by the Democratic-controlled Legislature, should have recused herself due to alleged bias against him. He claims her decision disenfranchises Maine voters and is part of a larger attempt to exclude him from the ballot.

Bellows, adhering to state law, responded to challenges by residents regarding Trump’s right to be on the primary ballot. She has paused her decision on Trump’s eligibility pending the outcome of judicial proceedings and has committed to complying with the court’s final decision.

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