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Updated December 29th, 2023 at 13:08 IST

US elections: Why did Maine remove Trump from 2024 ballot?

This action, mirroring a similar move by the Colorado Supreme Court, intensifies the push for a definitive U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Trump's eligibility.

Sagar Kar
Former US President, Donald Trump.
Former US President, Donald Trump. | Image:AP
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Maine's Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, made a pivotal decision on Thursday, disqualifying former President Trump from the state's 2024 presidential ballot, citing the 14th Amendment's "insurrection" clause. This action, mirroring a similar move by the Colorado Supreme Court, intensifies the push for a definitive U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Trump's eligibility in the upcoming election cycle.

As per a report from Axios, Bellows' decision emerged in response to three challenges to Trump's eligibility in Maine's Republican presidential primary. She based her conclusion on Trump's actions leading up to and on January 6, 2021, alleging that he perpetuated a false narrative of election fraud to incite supporters and direct them to the Capitol, obstructing the certification of the 2020 election results.

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An unique case,  says Bellows

The Secretary of State contended that Trump's conduct fuelled the Capitol riot, asserting that he was aware of the potential for violence and failed to intervene promptly. Bellows highlighted this as a unique case, acknowledging that no presidential candidate has previously faced disqualification based on the 14th Amendment, yet underlining the unprecedented nature of Trump's alleged involvement in an insurrection.

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“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,” Bellows wrote.

What now?

Trump's legal team plans to challenge Maine's decision, aiming to prevent its implementation. The former president's spokesperson, Steven Cheung, criticized the decision, condemning Democratic-led states for infringing on voters' civil rights and attempting to remove Trump from the ballot.

This development sets the stage for legal battles and appeals. Bellows' decision can be contested in the Maine Superior Court within five days, while in Colorado, the Republican Party seeks U.S. Supreme Court intervention to overturn the ruling disallowing Trump's presence on the 2024 ballot. Trump's attorneys are anticipated to file their appeal shortly.

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The move by Maine's Secretary of State reflects the intensifying debate over Trump's eligibility, signifying a pivotal moment in the ongoing legal and political saga surrounding the former president's potential participation in the forthcoming presidential race.

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Published December 29th, 2023 at 13:08 IST

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