Maine’s top election official bars Trump from primary ballot; Colorado gives Supreme Court Jan. 5 deadline

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News December 29, 2023

Sheena Bellows, the leftist secretary of state in Maine, has decided that Donald Trump should be removed from the 2024 presidential ballot in the state because he engaged in an “insurrection.”

Also on Thursday, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said Trump will remain on the state’s ballot pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.

Joe Biden with Maine Secretary of State Sheena Bellows

“I do not reach this conclusion lightly,” Bellows wrote on Thursday. “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.”

Republican Rep. John Andrews has filed a request for a joint order to impeach Bellows. As he posted on social media: “This is hyper-partisanship on full display. A Secretary of State APPOINTED by legislative Democrats bans President Trump from the 2024 ballot so that she can jockey for position in the 2026 Democrat Primary for Governor. Banana Republic isn’t just a store at the mall.”

The final clause of the 14th Amendment, passed in the aftermath of the Civil War, states: “The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said in a video posted on X: “I think the Supreme Court will focus on the fact that there is no authority in the 14th Amendment for application by state courts. There is no application by courts at all.”

Dershowitz told Just the News he expects Maine’s declaration and Colorado’s decision to remove Trump from the 2024 ballot to both be overturned.

Maine’s decision is “worse than Colorado,” Dershowitz said. “One official denies all Maine voters the right to cast a ballot for Trump. Will be reversed by SCOTUS.”

Trump plans to appeal the Maine decision, his spokesman Steven Cheung said.

“Democrats in blue states are recklessly and un-Constitutionally suspending the civil rights of the American voters by attempting to summarily remove President Trump’s name from the ballot,” Cheung said in a statement. “Make no mistake, these partisan election interference efforts are a hostile assault on American democracy.”

Maine has only four electoral votes but it’s one of two states to split them. Trump won one of Maine’s electors in 2020.

Later on Thursday, reports said that Bellows’s ruling has been suspended until the Supreme Court decides.

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy called what is happening a threat to democracy:

“The system is hellbent on taking this man out, the Constitution be damned,” Ramaswamy wrote on X. “I stand by my prior pledge to *withdraw* from any state’s ballot that ultimately removes Trump from its ballot. I call on DeSantis, Christie, and Haley to do the same – or else they are tacitly endorsing this illegal and brazen election interference in the GOP primary. This cancer in American politics isn’t limited to the Democrats.”

Maine Democrat Rep. Jared Golden said Trump should be allowed on the ballot: “I voted to impeach Donald Trump for his role in the January 6th insurrection. I do not believe he should be reelected as president of the United States. However, we are a nation of laws, therefore until he is actually found guilty of the crime of insurrection, he should be allowed on the ballot.”

In Colorado, the state Republican Party filed on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to look at the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that disqualified Trump from running on the presidential ballot in the state.

Griswold announced that Trump will remain on the ballot, which goes to print on Jan. 5, unless the Supreme Court affirms the lower court’s ruling or otherwise declines to take on the appeal.

Former Trump attorney Jay Sekulow’s conservative American Center for Law & Justice filed a petition Wednesday that would overturn the Colorado court’s decision.

“We’ve been saying from the day we took this case that this was one that would end up at the U.S. Supreme Court,” Seklow wrote in a statement on the filing along with his son Jordan.

“Today, we just filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Colorado Supreme Court’s dangerously flawed twisting of the 14th Amendment to ban President Trump from the ballot,” wrote the father-son duo, who are representing Colorado’s GOP. “This is the most important case we have ever taken on. Because if we lose our right to vote, we lose our constitutional republic.”

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