It has been noted that Maine became the second state to deem former President Donald Trump ineligible for the presidency on Thursday less than two weeks after Colorado barred Trump from the state ballot via Mediaite.
Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, ruled on Thursday that Trump’s candidacy in the state was void “because he is not qualified to hold the office of the President under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment – which says no person shall “hold any office” if they “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” – was also cited by the Colorado Supreme Court in its decision to bar Trump from the Colorado state ballot earlier this month.
“While I am cognizant of the fact that my decision could soon be rendered a nullity by a decision of the United States Supreme Court in Anderson, that possibility does not relieve me of my responsibility to act,” wrote Bellows, before adding, “I have little trouble concluding that the events of January 6, 2021 were an insurrection within the meaning of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
She also ruled that “Trump’s statements and other conduct leading up to and including January 6, 2021—the essential facts of which are once again not in dispute—constitute incitement of insurrection,” and that “Trump was aware of the likelihood for violence and at least initially supported its use given he both encouraged it with incendiary rhetoric and took no timely action to stop it.”
“I do not reach this conclusion lightly. Democracy is sacred, and the highest court of this State has repeatedly recognized that “no right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live.”
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. The oath I swore to uphold the Constitution comes first above all, and my duty under Maine’s election laws, when presented with a Section 336 challenge, is to ensure that candidates who appear on the primary ballot are qualified for the office they seek.
The events of January 6, 2021 were unprecedented and tragic. They were an attack not only upon the Capitol and government officials, but also an attack on the rule of law. The evidence here demonstrates that they occurred at the behest of, and with the knowledge and support of, the outgoing President. The U.S. Constitution does not tolerate an assault on the foundations of our government, and Section 336 requires me to act in response.”
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) announced on Thursday that Trump would remain on Colorado’s ballot, despite the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling this month, unless the U.S Supreme Court opted to quickly uphold the state’s ruling.
On Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected an attempt to remove Trump from its own state ballot.