Maine becomes the second state to disqualify Trump from office after the Colorado Supreme Court verdict
- Development is a significant victory for Trump’s critics.
- January 6 “occurred at the behest of the outgoing President”.
- Rulings in both states invoked US Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
In a major blow to former US president Donald Trump, another state removed him from the 2024 primary ballot in line with the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban”.
Maine becomes the second state to disqualify Trump from office after the Colorado Supreme Court removed the former president from the ballot earlier this month, reported CNN.
The development is a significant victory for Trump’s critics, who, citing the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, say they’re trying to enforce a constitutional provision that was designed to protect the country from anti-democratic insurrectionists.
Maine’s top election official, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, said in her ruling that the events of January 6, 2021 “occurred at the behest of, and with the knowledge and support of, the outgoing President.”
“The US Constitution does not tolerate an assault on the foundations of our government and (Maine law) requires me to act in response,” read the ruling, which came in response to challenges filed by a handful of Maine voters.
The rulings in both states invoked the US Constitution´s 14th Amendment, which bars from office anyone formerly sworn to protect the country who later engages in insurrection.
“I do not reach this conclusion lightly,” wrote Bellows, a Democrat. “I am mindful that no Secretary of State has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section Three of the 14th Amendment. I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection.”
Trump´s campaign quickly slammed Bellows´ ruling as “attempted theft of an election and the disenfranchisement of the American voter” and called her a “virulent leftist and a hyper-partisan Biden-supporting Democrat”.
“These partisan election interference efforts are a hostile assault on American democracy,” campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement, accusing President Joe Biden and Democrats of “relying on the force of government institutions to protect their grip on power”.
Cheung said Trump would appeal the ruling.
— With additional input from AFP
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