This May Put Trump Back on the Ballot

( – Shenna Bellows, Maine’s secretary of state, has preliminarily barred former president Donald Trump from being included on the upcoming presidential ballot in her state. Bellows’ decision makes Maine the second state to do so, after Colorado’s Supreme Court did the same on December 19th. However, many legislators on both sides of the political aisle continue to advocate for Trump’s right to participate in the Maine Republican primary.

Democrat Bellows wrote a 34-page decision justifying her view that Trump has fallen afoul of section 3 of the 14th amendment of the American constitution, which bans any presidential candidate deemed to have taken part in any insurrection attempt. Bellows concluded that Trump’s alleged role in encouraging the events of January 6th, 2021, at Capitol Hill, along with his accusations of election fraud caused him to fall foul of the insurrection clause.

Bellows’ decision has been met with both applause and condemnation from across the political spectrum. She initially agreed to make a decision after being presented with a case by a bipartisan group of former Maine lawmakers and residents, including Republican Kimberley Rosen, Democrat Ethan Strimling, and independent Thomas Saviello, who all welcomed Bellow’s finding. Rosen referred to Bellows as showing “courage” in making her decision.

Other Republicans disagreed with Rosen, however, with U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Maine’s House Republican leader Billy Bob Faulkingham both saying that the voters should be able to vote for the candidate of their choice. Faulkingham went so far as to call it a “sham decision” and compare the move to actions more commonly seen in “Third World dictatorships.” The decision has also drawn ire from the left wing of U.S. politics, with Democrat Rep. Jared Golden offering criticism. Golden, who formerly voted to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6th riots, pointed out that Trump has never been found guilty of insurrection in a court of law, and expressed his view that the U.S. is a “nation of laws” that should not bar a candidate without a fair trial.

The controversial decision may not be final, as even Bellows noted in her statement. She has suspended the implementation of her decision until Maine’s highest court hears from any appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court may yet have to rule on the issue on behalf of the nation as the Colorado Republican Party has already launched an appeal to the highest court in the land. Trump and his legal team have also appealed the decision, with the Republican front-runner’s team calling it a “hostile assault” on the democratic process.

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