After Colorado, Maine disqualifies Donald Trump from 2024 ballot

Donald Trump. [File Photo]

The top election official in Maine has excluded former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 ballot, invoking the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban.”

This move, following a similar decision by the Colorado Supreme Court, positions Maine as the second state to disqualify Trump from seeking office, according to CNN.

A bipartisan group of former state lawmakers initiated the challenge against Trump, leading to an administrative hearing earlier this month regarding his eligibility for office.

Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, issued the decision on Thursday, acknowledging the unprecedented nature of such an action against a presidential candidate.

Bellows emphasised the gravity of the situation, stating, “Democracy is sacred… 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.”

While Bellows’s decision is subject to appeal in state court, it is expected that Trump’s legal team will challenge this outcome. The issue is anticipated to reach the US Supreme Court, where legal experts speculate it will be settled for the entire country.

Trump, maintaining his innocence regarding the events of January 6, 2021, and dismissing legal challenges as baseless, faces increasing opposition from critics aiming to uphold the constitutional provision preventing anti-democratic insurrectionists.

The decision in Maine follows the momentum gained by Trump’s opponents after the Colorado ruling. While Michigan and Minnesota rejected similar efforts before Colorado, the consecutive decisions in Colorado and Maine signify a notable victory for those advocating for accountability, according to CNN.

Ratified after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment stipulates that American officials who “engage in” insurrection cannot hold future office. However, the provision lacks clarity on enforcement, allowing room for legal interpretation and debate.

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