Maine’s top election official has removed former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 primary ballot in a shock decision based on the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban.”
However, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows paused her decision pending a potential appeal in state court, which Trump’s team said they intend to file.
The decision makes Maine the second state to disqualify Trump from office after the Colorado Supreme Court handed down its own stunning ruling that removed him from the ballot earlier this month.
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The development is a significant victory for Trump’s critics, who, citing the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, say they’re trying to enforce a constitutional provision that was designed to protect the country from anti-democratic insurrectionists.
However, Bellows, a Democrat, issued the decision Thursday after presiding over an administrative hearing earlier this month about Trump’s eligibility for office. A bipartisan group of former state lawmakers filed the challenge against Trump.
“I do not reach this conclusion lightly,” Bellows wrote. “Democracy is sacred… I am mindful that no Secretary of State has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection.”
A Maine official who removed Trump from the ballot responds to fierce criticism. Ratified after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment says American officials who “engage in” insurrection can’t hold future office. But the provision is vague and doesn’t say how the ban should be enforced.
In conclusion, most legal experts believe the US Supreme Court will settle the issue for the entire country. READ MORE
SOURCE : CNN
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