In a significant political development, Maine’s Democratic Secretary of State has taken steps to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot. This action comes as the US Supreme Court is deliberating on Trump’s eligibility to run for the White House again.

Secretary of State Shenna Bellows based her decision on Trump’s involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack, citing a violation of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which disqualifies those engaged in insurrection from holding office. In her 34-page decision, Bellows stressed the unprecedented nature of this move, acknowledging that no Secretary of State had previously denied a presidential candidate ballot access on these grounds.

According to a report by CNBC, While recognizing the potential for the US Supreme Court to ultimately decide on the matter, Bellows emphasized the importance of fulfilling her official responsibilities. Her decision marks the first instance of an election official unilaterally acting in this way.

This follows a similar ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court, which also disqualified Trump from their ballot under the same constitutional provision.

The Trump campaign has announced plans to appeal Bellows’ decision in Maine’s state courts, prompting Bellows to temporarily suspend her ruling until the court delivers its verdict. The campaign has sharply criticized the decision, accusing it of being an attempt to steal the election and disenfranchise voters.

The controversy continues despite Bellows’ refusal to recuse herself from the case, citing that her decision was based solely on the hearing’s record and not influenced by personal or political views. The situation is particularly noteworthy in Maine, a state that divides its electoral votes and where Trump secured one electoral vote in 2020. His absence from the ballot could have significant implications, especially in contrast to Colorado, where Trump lost by a wider margin in the previous election.

Both parties are urging a swift decision from the US Supreme Court, with Colorado’s Republican Party already appealing the state court’s decision and Trump expected to file an appeal soon. The petitioners in the Colorado case have requested an expedited schedule from the Supreme Court, hoping for a ruling before the crucial Super Tuesday in March, when several states, including Colorado and Maine, vote in the Republican presidential nominating process. Legal experts anticipate the Supreme Court will accept the case, given its high stakes and national significance.



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