Trump appeals disqualification from Maine primary ballot
Donald Trump appealed a decision on Tuesday that disqualified him from Maine's Republican presidential primary ballot next year.
Maine’s Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, ruled that Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol rendered him ineligible under the U.S. Constitution.
Trump, a frontrunner for the Republican nomination in November's U.S. presidential election, is seeking a reversal of Bellows' decision in state Superior Court. Trump's legal team argues that the disqualification was biased and lacked due process, challenging Bellows' authority to exclude him from the March 5 primary ballot.
The decision followed a petition by former Maine lawmakers, citing the U.S. Constitution's provision against office-holding by individuals engaged in "insurrection." Bellows expressed confidence in her ruling following Trump’s appeal.
Advocacy groups and anti-Trump voters have challenged Trump’s candidacy under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars those who incited violence from holding office. These lawsuits claim Trump spurred the Capitol violence with false allegations of a stolen 2020 election.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to address Trump’s eligibility soon, following a similar disqualification in Colorado. This ruling could provide a definitive national answer on Trump's eligibility for office.
While courts in other states have dismissed similar lawsuits against Trump, his campaign decries these ballot challenges as an assault on democracy. Opinion polls place Trump as a leading contender in the Republican nominating contest, which starts on Jan. 15 in Iowa.