Maine Drops Bombshell: Trump Disqualified from 2024 Primary Ballot.
Donald Trump faced a setback on Thursday as the US state of Maine barred him from its Republican presidential primary ballot, becoming the second state to disqualify him due to his role in the January 2021 US Capitol attack.
Maine’s Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, favoured citizens’ claims that Trump should be constitutionally barred from seeking re-election after his efforts to disrupt the 2020 election.
In her decision, Bellows cited the January 6 attack, stating it happened with the knowledge and support of the outgoing President. She underscored that the assault violated the foundations of the government and necessitated her action under Maine law.
The decisions in both Maine and Colorado invoke the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment, preventing individuals engaged in insurrection from holding office. Bellows suspended the effect of her decision pending a court appeal by Trump.
However, California’s top election official refused to remove Trump from the presidential primary ballot, defying pressure from fellow Democrats.
Trump’s campaign swiftly criticised Bellows’s decision, labelling it an “attempted theft of an election” and called her a “virulent leftist and a hyper-partisan Biden-supporting Democrat.”
Fellow Republicans, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, expressed concerns over the precedent set by the decision, suggesting it could lead to similar actions targeting Democrats.
Amidst the debate, Democratic Representative Jared Golden and Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine expressed divergent opinions on Trump’s disqualification, stressing either adherence to the law or the right of Maine voters to decide.
The Maine decision arrives as Trump leads Republican candidates to challenge President Joe Biden in next year’s election. Biden has recently intensified his criticisms of Trump, attributing the former president’s actions to a threat to democracy.
Trump continues to assert, without evidence, his victory in the 2020 election. Legal challenges and disputes regarding his eligibility for presidential candidacy persist across several states.
The decisions made by Maine and Colorado will likely face further legal challenges, shaping the landscape of the Republican primary race scheduled for “Super Tuesday” on March 5.
Similar cases have surfaced in states like Minnesota, Michigan, and Oregon, where courts have either allowed or awaited decisions on Trump’s candidacy.