The Maine Supreme Judicial Court delivered a decisive victory for former President Donald Trump on Thursday, rejecting an appeal from the Democratic secretary of state to keep the Republican off the state’s primary election ballot while the U.S. Supreme Court considers a litany of constitutional challenges to his campaign.
The state’s top court rebuked Secretary Shenna Bellows for failing to wait until the Supreme Court could deliver a ruling on whether President Trump is ineligible to run for reelection under the 14th Amendment, which states that any citizen who engaged in “insurrection” may not hold the presidency. The Reconstruction-era amendment is largely understood to be a holdover from a time when lawmakers intended to deprive Confederacy sympathizers from running.
“The Secretary of State suggests that there is irreparable harm because a delay in certainty about whether Trump’s name should appear on the primary ballot will result in voter confusion,” the court wrote in its decision. “This uncertainty is, however, precisely what guides our decision not to undertake immediate appellate review in this particular case.”
The court added that Bellows should not enforce her earlier decision to keep Trump off the ballot, nor should she modify or change it while the Supreme Court undertakes its review of challenges across several states. Both sides will make their case before the court on February 8th.
In a statement, President Trump’s spokesman said according to the Western Journal that another attempt by allies of President Joe Biden to weaponize the court system against him has failed.
“This evening, in Maine, Crooked Joe Biden was dealt a devastating in blow in his desperate attempt to remove President Trump’s name from the ballot and to deprive tens of millions of Americans of the right to vote for the candidate of their choice,” campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said.
“This disenfranchisement effort, lead by Crooked Joe’s Democrat acolyte and desperate partisan Secretary of State, was soundly rejected by Maine’s Supreme Court in a dismissal of the Secretary’s appeal of a prior order, which kept President Trump on the ballot,” Cheung added.
“President Trump is confident that the United States Supreme Court will ultimately be fair and eliminate these meritless, sham ‘14th Amendment’ cases once and for all,” Cheung concluded. “Until then, President Trump will continue to fight them off at every turn. Make America Great Again!”
Bellows’s earlier decision to deny Trump a spot on the ballot was only the second challenge to succeed across more than 35 states where anti-Trump forces filed various motions. The Colorado State Supreme Court previously ruled that Trump engaged in “insurrection” and therefore is not eligible to run. Decisions since then, including in Massachusetts, have found that lower courts do not have the standing to adjudicate a presidential candidate’s qualifications.