Maine’s Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, has ruled that former President Donald J. Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s 2024 Republican primary ballot. The decision, stemming from challenges based on the Fourteenth and Twenty-Second Amendments, marks another significant moment in American political history.
The ruling addressed the disqualification of those who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States. The Secretary of State concluded, “Mr. Trump’s primary petition is invalid…he is not qualified to hold the office of the President under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
“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,” Bellows said in her ruling.
The ruling also addressed a challenge under the Twenty-Second Amendment, which limits the number of terms a person can be elected as President. However, the Secretary of State found that Trump’s claims regarding the 2020 election do not disqualify him under this amendment.
This part of the ruling, while overshadowed by the Fourteenth Amendment decision, is crucial in understanding the full scope of the Secretary’s decision-making process. The interpretation was that the amendment’s term limit is based on actual election outcomes, not on a candidate’s claims or beliefs about those outcomes.
BREAKING: Maine has ruled that Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on the primary ballot in 2024.
The communists are out in full force.
Maine's Secretary of State Shenna Bellows ruled that Trump could not be on the primary ballot under the 14th Amendment.
The decision is… pic.twitter.com/dbqeSbiu2B
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 29, 2023
“The Twenty-Second Amendment provides that ‘[n]o person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.’ Attorney Gordon claims that given Mr. Trump won the 2016 election, and has repeatedly claimed to have won the 2020 election, he is disqualified. Attorney Gordon cites no authority for his interpretation of the Twenty-Second Amendment, which is contrary to the Amendment’s plain meaning. Application of the term limit turns on whether an individual has actually been elected President twice, not on beliefs or assertions about that fact.”
“The events of January 6, 2021 were unprecedented and tragic,” Bellows continued. “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.”
The decision has sparked intense debate among conservatives and Trump supporters, who view it as an overreach of state authority and a direct attack on the democratic process.
The ruling also highlighted the Secretary of State’s authority in such matters, stating, “The States have evolved comprehensive election codes regulating the selection and qualification of candidates.” This has shown the state’s role in managing its own elections and the authority to enforce constitutional qualifications.
Supporters of Trump have expressed outrage, yet disappointment over these trials, with many calling for a reevaluation of the decision. Many believe that these rulings disenfranchise millions of Americans who support Trump and want to see him on the ballot. Trump has even referred to Biden as a “threat to democracy” in recent days.
The state of Maine now joins Colorado as the only two states two bar the former President from the 2024 Presidential ballot.