Updated Dec 28, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Maine's secretary of state blocks Trump from 2024 ballot

Former President Trump attends his civil fraud trial in New York City this month. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Maine on Thursday disqualified former President Trump from its 2024 ballot — becoming the second state to find he's ineligible under the 14th Amendment's insurrection clause over his actions surrounding Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) has increased pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to make a ruling on whether the former president can be removed from ballots in the 2024 presidential election.

  • Trump's legal team plans to challenge Maine's decision, which follows the Colorado Supreme Court's majority ruling this month in removing him from the state's ballot under the 14th Amendment concerning the U.S. Capitol riot.
  • The Republican primaries in both states are scheduled for Super Tuesday on March 5.

Driving the news: Bellows made her decision in her role as Maine's top election official in response to three challenges to Republican presidential primary front-runner Trump's eligibility on the ballot.

  • She concluded that "the record establishes" that Trump, "over the course of several months and culminating on January 6, 2021, used a false narrative of election fraud to inflame his supporters and direct them to the Capitol to prevent certification of the 2020 election and the peaceful transfer of power."
  • Bellows added that Trump "was aware of the likelihood for violence and at least initially supported its use given he both encouraged it with incendiary rhetoric and took no timely action to stop it."

Of note: "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," Bellows wrote.

  • "I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection."

What they're saying: Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement that the former president's legal team "will quickly file a legal objection in state court to prevent this atrocious decision in Maine from taking effect."

  • Cheung's statement also hit out at President Biden and other Democrats.
  • "Democrats in blue states are recklessly and un-Constitutionally suspending the civil rights of the American voters by attempting to summarily remove President Trump's name from the ballot," he said.

What we're watching: Bellows' decision can be appealed to the Maine Superior Court within five days.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Republican Party has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the state's landmark ruling that bars Trump from the 2024 ballot.

  • Attorneys for Trump are expected to file their own appeal in the coming days.

Go deeper: Maine decision keeping Trump off 2024 ballot draws bipartisan backlash

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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