Maine’s Highest Court Declines to Consider Trump’s Eligibility for Primary Ballot

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court dismissed Secretary of State Shenna Bellows’ (D) request to determine if former President Donald Trump is disqualified under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. 

Bellows issued a ruling in the final days of 2023 finding Trump ineligible to hold office of the president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and removed him from the state’s Republican presidential primary ballot. Trump immediately appealed the ruling to state court, arguing that the secretary’s ruling is flawed because she is a “biased decision maker.”

Last week, Bellows appealed the state court’s decision that sent the case back to her office and ordered her to issue a new decision based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Trump’s appeal of his disqualification in Colorado. A state court judge 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.”  

Bellows originally requested review from the state’s highest court, maintaining that the questions around Trump’s eligibility “are of grave concern to many.” 

The Maine Judicial Supreme Court does not usually review cases that are sent back to a state agency. In yesterday’s decision, the court reiterated that the case was not ready for review: It is well settled that when a matter has been remanded to an agency for further proceedings, the Superior Court decision is not a final judgment because it does not fully decide and dispose of the entire case, “leaving no further questions for . . . future consideration and judgment by the administrative agency.”

Everything you need to know Could The 14th Amendment Disqualify Trump From The Presidency?

Read on to learn what exactly Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is, how it applies to former President Donald Trump and where lawsuits challenging the former president’s eligibility stand.

The case now returns back to the secretary of state. After the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Trump’s Colorado ballot disqualification case, Bellows must “issue a new Ruling modifying, withdrawing, or confirming” her initial decision on Trump’s eligibility to appear on the state’s primary ballot. 

As of now, Trump remains on the ballot in Maine. The former president faces 19 challenges to his eligibility across the country. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in the Colorado case on Feb. 8, less than a month before the Maine Republican primary, which is scheduled for March 5. 

Read the decision here. 

Learn more about the case here. 

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