Trump appeals Maine ruling barring him from ballot under the Constitution’s insurrection clause

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday appealed a ruling by Maine’s Democratic secretary of state barring him from the ballot over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. He was expected to also ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on his eligibility to return to the presidency in a related Colorado case.

The Republican candidate appealed the Maine decision by Shenna Bellows, who became the first secretary of state in history to bar someone from running for the presidency under the rarely used Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. That provision prohibits those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office.

Trump’s appeal to the Maine Supreme Court declares that Bellows had no jurisdiction in the matter and asks that she be required to place Trump on the March 5 primary ballot. The appeal argues that she abused her discretion and relied on “untrustworthy evidence.”

“The secretary should have recused herself due to her bias against President Trump, as demonstrated by a documented history of prior statements prejudging the issue presented,” Trump’s attorneys wrote.

Bellows reiterated to The Associated Press on Tuesday that her ruling was on pause pending the outcome of the appeal, which had been expected.

“This is part of the process. I have confidence in my decision and confidence in the rule of law. This is Maine’s process and it’s really important that first and foremost every single one of us who serves in government uphold the Constitution and the laws of the state,” she said.

  • January 3, 2024
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