BACKGROUND: A February 2021 Senate Impeachment vote of 57-to-43 fell 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict former President Trump, which meant the Senate could not to move to disqualify him from holding future office. The impeachment proceedings were issued one week before the end of his term in January 2021.
TODAY: Former President Donald Trump is appealing a decision by Maine’s far-left secretary of state that he cannot be on the ballot there because he violated a constitutional ban against people who “engaged in insurrection” holding office.
Shenna Bellows, who became the first secretary of state in history to bar someone from running for the presidency under the rarely used Disqualification Clause (Section Three of the 14th Amendment) which claims that this provision prohibits Trump from holding office as he “engaged in insurrection”. Section 3 was passed following the Civil War to prevent former Confederates from holding office.
Trump’s appeal yesterday asks that Bellows be required to place him 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. ABC.
Why is it important? Colorado is key
In December, a divided Colorado Supreme Court declared Trump ineligible for a White House run under the insurrection clause referred to above, and removed him from the state’s presidential primary ballot.
The 4-3 decision from a court whose justices were all appointed by Democratic governors marked the first time in history that Section 3 was used to bar a presidential contender from the ballot.
The Colorado Supreme Court had overturned a ruling from a district court judge who found that Trump incited an insurrection for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, but said he could not be barred from the ballot because it was unclear that the provision was intended to cover the presidency.
The court stayed its decision until Jan. 4, or until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the case, as January 5 is the deadline for the state to print its presidential primary ballots for use in the March 5th primary.
This should mean that Trump will appear on the primary ballot in the state, as the Colorado GOP’s appeal is unlikely to be heard by the the U.S. Supreme Court so expeditiously. As Trump lost Colorado in 2020 he should not need to win it to attain an Electoral College majority next year.
But, as he won one of Maine’s four Electoral College votes in 2020 by winning the state’s 2nd Congressional District, Bellows’ decision could have a negative impact in November and it is worth a fight. Trump is expected to appeal the Maine decision to SCOTUS.
Bellows is smugly using States’ Rights as an argument. “Every state is different,” she said. “I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. I fulfilled my duty.” And with that took out the Number One political threat to her party in her state and federally.
Trump Appeals Maine Ballot Disqualification pic.twitter.com/FeURAAOWzS— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) January 3, 2024