Former president Donald Trump is contesting the move to strike his name off Maine’s presidential primary ballot. This decision was a response to his alleged involvement in the January 6 Capitol riots.
What Happened: Trump is legally fighting to get his name back on the state’s ballot. He asserts that Maine’s Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, had a bias and should not have been part of the decision-making process, reported The Financial Times.
Bellows, a Democratic appointee of the state legislature, ruled Trump unfit for presidency under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution. This amendment disqualifies individuals involved in insurrection from holding office.
According to Bellows, Trump propagated a false narrative of election fraud to provoke his supporters. She suggested that he was cognizant of the potential violence and initially endorsed it.
Maine is the second state after Colorado to disqualify Trump from seeking the presidency under the 14th Amendment. Trump is expected to bring the Colorado case to the Supreme Court, thereby thrusting it into a position to make a decisive ruling on his eligibility for re-election.
Despite the ongoing legal struggles, Trump’s popularity in the forthcoming Republican presidential nomination process seems unaffected. His poll numbers have surged as his legal complications have mounted, including 91 criminal charges across four separate cases related to the January 6 incident and alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
Why It Matters: Trump’s legal team is preparing to challenge his disqualification from the primary ballots in Colorado and Maine, both linked to the January 6 Capitol attack. This action, initiated on December 30, 2023, demands significant resources, already strained by four criminal indictments.
Secretary of State Bellows announced Trump’s exclusion from the Maine primary ballot on December 28, 2023. This move sparked legal disputes from Trump’s team, who asked Bellows to recuse herself from the matter, alleging potential bias.
Following Maine’s decision, House Oversight Committee Chair, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), predicted that more states might follow the same path, describing the ruling as political.
Amid these challenges, Trump has privately expressed concerns about a potential Supreme Court ruling that may not favor him.
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