Maine Secretary of State Appeals Decision Allowing Trump on Primary Ballot

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) appealed a lower court order that paused her decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment

Last week, a Maine judge decided to pause the secretary of state’s ruling until the U.S Supreme Court makes a final decision in Trump’s appeal of the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to remove him from the Colorado primary ballot. The court concluded that “there are so many federal issues in Anderson, it would be imprudent for this Court to be the first court in Maine to address them.”

In a brief statement, Bellows reiterated that she welcomed a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that “provides guidance as to the important Fourteenth Amendment questions in this case.” 

“In the interim, Maine law provides the opportunity to seek review from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court – which I requested today. I know both the constitutional and state authority questions are of grave concern to many. This appeal ensures that Maine’s highest court has the opportunity to weigh in now, before ballots are counted, promoting trust in our free, safe and secure elections,” Bellows concluded. 

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court already issued an order requesting an explanation as to why it should not dismiss the appeal since the case was sent back to the secretary of state’s office. If a case is sent back to a state agency, it is “generally not appealable.” Both parties have until Jan. 23 to submit their explanation on whether the court should review the case. 

Trump faces 17 active challenges to his eligibility across the country. Courts in Michigan and Minnesota have ruled that Trump is eligible to appear on each state’s primary ballot. 

Oral argument in Trump’s Colorado ballot disqualification challenge will take place on Feb. 8, less than a month before the Maine Republican primary, which is scheduled for March 5.

Learn more about the case here. 

Read more about Section 3 of the 14th Amendment here.