Maine Secretary of State removes Trump from ballot

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By TOM GANTERT | THE CENTER SQUARE

The state of Maine removed Donald Trump from its 2024 presidential primary ballot because its secretary of state said he engaged in insurrection during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The decision was announced Thursday by Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat.

“I do not reach this conclusion lightly,” Bellows said in a media release. “Democracy is sacred… 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. I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection.”

The decision in Maine came after the state of Colorado put Trump back on its ballot after that state’s Supreme Court ruled he could be removed from their 2024 primary ballot.

There has been a movement across the country to remove Trump from the presidential primary ballot due to his actions during Jan. 6, 2021. In Michigan, that state’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Trump could be on the ballot. Oregon, California and New Hampshire are other states reviewing Trump’s status as a presidential candidate.

“Another day, another illegal and corrupt act by the desperate radical Democrats weaponizing government against President Trump, Joe Biden’s top political opponent,” Elise Stefanik, a Republican U.S. House of Representative from New York, said in a media release. “The Far Left Democrat Maine Secretary of State just unilaterally removed President Trump from the ballot. This is election interference, voter suppression, and a blatant attack on democracy. The Supreme Court must overturn this unprecedented and unconstitutional action now.”


47 COMMENTS

      • When was I ever “all for overturning a fair and free election in 2020”?

        Please feel free to take your time.

      • And it is also funny, RINO, how protesting massive voting fraud is labeled by the beneficiaries and partisans of that fraud (those like you) as “overturning a free and fair (sic) election”, much less as a ludicrously and hyperbolically misnamed “insurrection”.

        The only overturning of democracy that happened in regards to the 2020 presidential (s)election what that conducted by pro-establishment, pro-globalist Democrats. Despite all your shrieking of “insurrection” and “endangering democracy”, it is YOU, and those like you, who are guilty of those crimes. Once again, we witness the disingenuous projection of radical leftist extremists in those victim-blaming claims.

  1. The last insurrection in our country occurred in the civil war. To make such a comparison is self serving, and should not be based on one’s hatred for a candidate. That’s the reason for the vote. Should this really need to be said? The only thing that millions of other people as well are guilty of is the opinion that our election system may need more integrity. So far, nothing has changed to improve this, just denial from the winning side. New age poker with five of a kind.

    • Unfortunately the writers of the 14th Amendment didn’t furnish us with a definition of “insurrection” or a specific way of determining if it has been committed. They didn’t say someone needed to have been convicted of a crime or that it only applied to officers of the Confederacy, or anything else. This leaves it to the courts, since as a Constitutional Republic the country does not decide constitutional issues by direct democracy. And as a federal system, that means the determination at least starts in the state courts. (Whatever happened to states’ rights?). It’s pretty clear the Supreme Court is going to have to weigh in, whether or not they have the integrity to judge this fairly according to its constitutional merits. I can’t wait to hear the contortions they have to go to to give Trump the pass.

      Politically it’s probably not helpful to try to keep Trump off the ballot anyway, as it just feeds the insatiable aggrievement machine. A lot people people aren’t going to accept that. But what’s the difference? They won’t accept it (and haven’t accepted it) if he loses in an election either.

      It’s fine, great, if people have the opinion that the integrity of the election system should be improved, I agree!, as long as that is done in an equitable way. But I think it’s pretty clear that the integrity of the system isn’t really what most people who are challenging it are so exercised about.

      • “…….I can’t wait to hear the contortions they have to go to to give Trump the pass……..”
        And I can’t wait to see the next contortions the Trump Deranged will sink to next, so I guess there’s much more fun and games to enjoy before the election, no?

  2. In essence this is the ultimate insult to Maine voters. Mrs. Bellows has basically declared that they are too stupid and can not be trusted to make the “correct” choice! She is the self-appointed judge and jury of the “correct” interpretation of the 14th amendment of our constitution, while many actual courts, decided they had no business getting in the fray here. She ignores the freedom of political speech, the fact that the position of president is not mentioned in the 14th amendment as a bad actor, but only electors….
    Those who entered the capitol should be punished, Nancy Pelosi should be held to account for poor security and declining the National Guard troops offered. Everyone else has a right to disagree with their government and demand accountability and transparency in our election process.

    Let the voters decide!

    • There is no way that Bellows doesn’t know that this is going to be decided in the courts. They might decide she didn’t have authority to make such a decision, but I doubt it. That won’t be the reason they decide one way or another. Here is a map of these challenges by state: ‘https://www.newsweek.com/election-map-states-donald-trump-ballot-disqualification-1856510 . It is true that a few states (not “many” — apparently 5 so far) have dismissed the challenge, but it is still pending in many more. The Colorado District Court and Supreme Court agreed that Trump incited insurrection, the condition that would bar him from holding office, but disagreed on whether he was an “officer” of the United States. The 14th Amendment bars officers who have committed insurrection, not “electors”. I think the District Court wimped out by saying the President is not an “officer”.

      As to “let the voters decide”, that isn’t the way our system decides on interpretation of the constitution. That’s why we have courts, which are appointed by people we elect. As you guys are always pointing out, this is a Constitutional Republic, not a direct democracy. One way or another, for good or ill, this is going to be decided by the Supreme Court.

      • NWCorner, I disagree with your assessment. I am not a lawyer, I do not play one on TV nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I just read the text.
        The 14th amendment states that “electors OF the president or VP” meaning those, who are chosen for the electoral college and cast their votes, are prohibited from doing so if they have participated in a rebellion against the country. Mrs. Bellows with her decision is depriving Maine voters of the choice to freely associate for choosing the candidate for representation during the primary/caucus.
        Further more she violated the 5th amendment of due process, as there is NO indictment for “insurrection” or grand jury proceedings for that charge. (The Colorado court was not asked to convict on the insurrection charge, but to rule on the ballot question) It should be further noted that the impeachment trial did return an acquittal. In a representative republic to deprive the voters of a viable candidate is clearly against our constitution, especially since there is a presumption of innocence, as the supreme court has not yet ruled on this or the executive privilege immunity clause. Mrs. Bellows should have waited until this is settled, as it is at this moment she looks like a partisan political hack, who is tilting the table in favor of her party.

        • Taxpayer,

          The 14th Amendment, Section 3, starts with:
          “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, OR elector of President and Vice-President, OR hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, …” (capitalization of “OR” is mine)

          You’re not wrong about electors, but I think the presidency is an “office, civil or military” (in fact maybe both as he is Commander in Chief).

          Still trying to work out your point about Holiday Inn…

          • NWCorner, you need to start at the beginning and finish reading:
            “No person shall be a SENATOR or REPRESENTATIVE in CONGRESS OR ELECTOR OF…or hold any office, civilian or military, under the United States or under any state, having previously taken an oath AS A MEMBER OF CONGRESS….. the president is NOT a member of congress (legislative branch) He is the head of the executive branch!
            If Trump ran for Senate you may potentially have a case maybe, but the “president” is NOT mentioned as a culpable offender.

            The president is NOT considered a military officer. He is the civilian command authority. The civilian lawmaking body has authority over the military (declarations of war and oversight).

            Sorry about the Holiday Inn reference. Many moons ago Holiday inn ran an ad campaign where ordinary tourists did extraordinary things (like open heart surgery) because they stayed at that hotel. It has become a way of a saying. You can google it.(Hey another saying)

        • Taxpayer,

          With all due respect, please take your own advice and read the whole thing. I’m not going to quote it all here (too long) but just keep the relevant clauses:

          “No person shall … hold any office, civil or military, under the United States … who, having previously taken an oath … as an officer of the United States … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

          There’s no question this applies to “Officers of the United States”. The questions before the courts are:
          – Is the President an Officer of the United States? The lower Colorado court said no, but the Colorado Supreme Court said yes.
          – Is what Trump did to “engage in an insurrection or rebellion against [The Constitution of The United States], or given aid to the enemies thereof?

          It’s obvious there is disagreement, and that we’re not going to settle those questions here or anywhere else except the Supreme Court.

          Oh, and I concede my remark about Commander in Chief.

          • NWC, I read the entire thing several times and I believe the “officer of the United States” refers to military officers, as they swear an oath to the constitution upon their commissioning. I base this on the next sentence which speak specifically to executive and judicial officers of any STATE (as in governors and state court judges). The last sentence is also indicative, as it allows for Congress to vote with 2/3 of each house to remove this disability for any member wishing to stand for election to the senate or house. Congress has no power to disqualify a person from running for the executive, their only check is impeachment once the individual is in office.

      • “There is no way that Bellows doesn’t know that this is going to be decided in the courts……”
        Correct. This is political theater. Feathering her nest. A single moron playing with lit matches in a dark ammunition magazine filled to the brim with explosives.
        Titus approaches……….

          • You know Cal, everyone throws the “destroy our constitution” around, but how exactly is he doing that?
            AND why are you not up in arms about all those constitution violating acts of our current occupant of the oval???

        • She had to know what kind of threats would come her way when she made this decision. Putting her own life and her family’s lives in that kind of danger is hardly what I’d call “feathering her nest”. Some people might like what she did, but obviously many others don’t. It’s not at all clear it helps her politically, while it is abundantly clear that her decision, which she prevented from going into effect herself until it is reviewed by the courts, is only one piece of the larger puzzle, that is inevitably going to be decided at a national level by the subprime court. For my money someone who makes potentially unpopular decisions they think are correct despite significant danger to themselves and loved ones is demonstrating courage, not nest feathering. And as we already know, Maine isn’t the only state which has produced this opinion, and there will probably be more before this is all adjudicated. I don’t think it’s political theater because this issue really does need to be fully fleshed out and decided, with full input from both sides of the argument.

  3. Not even a shred of Due Process. A unilateral action by the Sec of State. He needs to read the rest of the 14th Amendment. Especially Due Process!

  4. It is true that voters have been denied the opportunity to vote for Trump—but that situation was created by Trump himself, not the state officials or judges who have applied the Constitution as written. This decision was based on the straightforward application of the US Constitution. For those of you who prefer the “originalist” interpretation of the Second Amendment, here’s another dose of “originalism” for you. Deal with it.

    • You want original interpretation? Try this on for size:
      Congress shall make no law ….abridging the freedom of speech….the right for people to peaceably assemble and the petition their government for a redress of grievances.
      Remember the first amendment?
      As an American citizen Trump has a right to state his opinion and demand redress of his grievances, as in his opinion there were irregularities in the 2020 election. As president he is further charged to assure that all rules are followed and equally applied. His rally was peaceful and the group had a permit to protest outside the capitol. That some decided to break the rules, should be laid at their feet not his.
      Here is another wrinkle in the “insurrection” narrative. There is now surveillance video available from that day, showing the guy in the viking helmet and face paint, walking peacefully in the halls, accompanied by several capitol police officers for a considerable time. They appear to have a nice conversation and letting him roam free, even trying to assist him to get into the chamber. He is NOT in handcuffs or being walked out or detained in these images. Clearly the Capitol police did not see him as a threat or a trespasser, which is weird given the MSM hyperventilating reporting.
      The real problem we have is the very selective imagery and the unavailability of the entire actual footage for that day for such a long time.Even Jan 6 defendants and their counsel had no access and more and more it appears that the DOJ withheld exculpatory evidence.
      Then there is the fact that the Jan.6 commission was a Nancy Pelosi hand-picked cabal of politicos, who in my opinion had an axe to grind or towed the party line for personal reasons. I believe if Jim Jordan would have been on that commission we would have had more transparency much earlier.

    • It’s funny to see someone who literally has a toddler’s understanding of the Constitution attempt to lecture anyone about it.

      Or our legal system.

      Or common sense.

    • He didn’t create any situation. He said to go and peacefully protest. He didn’t tell any one to ruin government property. Hans you are part of this country’s problem. Trump has not been tried or found guilty of insurrection and so a group concludes he is ineligible to run for office. Absolutely un American and illegal. The Democrats are dreaming of a civil war. the only conclusion I can come to. And the results will be catastrophic this time.

    • “……..For those of you who prefer the “originalist” interpretation of the Second Amendment, here’s another dose of “originalism” for you. Deal with it.”
      We are. Deal with that. You’ve got 10 more months until Trump wins the presidency again.
      Boy, are you going to be upset!

    • Hans, I think it is important to remember that an Originalist interpretation would include ” what did the verbiage mean to those who ratified the 14 th amendment at that time “.
      Simple enough, isn’t it? Those folks who introduced the amendment and then later ratified it had but one group in mind… the Southern Confederacy!
      As for the second amendment, the term ” well regulated” meant to be proficient in the use of arms.

  5. Watching this Bellows woman bask in the spotlight is really disgusting. Remember back in 2016/2017 when everyone was vowing to do their part to disrupt the Trump administration? Thankfully most people just attended a pussy-hat shriek-at-the-sky event, but unfortunately far too many were bureaucrats who laid in wait for their chance to use their positions to entangle and hinder him at every step.

    Here’s hoping the Supreme Court vehemently slaps her down.

  6. These judges in Colorado and this Secretary of State should be run out of the country. Who in the hell do they think they are??? They are not upholding any laws they are creating their own. These people work for the American tax payers not any particular party. They have all violated their oath of office.

    • No, they were following procedures mandated for them. You just don’t agree with the conclusions they came to. In Maine, 5 citizens brought the complaint and the Secretary of State was required to have a hearing within 5 days and then required to make a decision within another 5 days. She even stayed her own decision, knowing it would be before the courts soon enough.

  7. The fact that people like NW Corner continue to laud the activities in some states as being even remotely constitutional shows a complete lack of knowledge with regard to the drafting of the ammendments or the history behind their inclusion into our bill of rights.
    Ammendment 14 Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
    NOT, the courts, NOT the Maine Never Trumper Secretary of State,NOT the state courts. CONGRESS. Reading can be fun but nobody does it anymore.

    • If a conservative judge like J. Michael Luttig says the 14th Amendment, section 3, is self-executing and doesn’t need further legislation or a conviction, that’s good enough for me. ‘https://www.dorfonlaw.org/2023/08/what-it-means-to-say-that-section-3-of.html?m=1
      Section 5 says Congress can legislate about this, but they don’t judge cases under the constitution and existing laws, the courts do. And they will. And whatever they do half the country will be angry about it.

      • Cal, are you one of those Obama-Biden totalitarian Marxist anti-American m’effers who hate Conservative free speech?

        • Oh gosh. Get over yourself. I’m anti violence and I fear Jose and others, probably you, will kill our neighbors because they do no think and behave exactly as you want them too.

          • Cal, this is the most asinine comment.
            You are clearly living in a really ugly fantasy world.

            Jose’s statement was unfortunate in its wording, but correct. Mrs. Bellows has put herself in the lime light in a calculated move to curry favor with the people in power, put her thumb on the scale and eliminate options for their declared public enemy #1 (which ironically isn’t Trump, but all Americans, who disagree with Joe and their policies).
            In a clever move she then stayed her own decision knowing it is on shaky and uncharted constitutional ground. This move is bound to elicit strong debate and questions for her, but your immediate implication that a certain set of people are threatening her with violence and going around killing their neighbors for daring to utter words of descend, is preposterous and insulting.

            Simply voicing a contrary opinion is NOT violence, but exercising your first amendment right to free speech and addressing your government with your grievance. Debate and the rule of law applied to all EQUALLY is what this country is based on and demonizing those, who disagree with you says considerably more about you than them. Shame!

        • One unelected bureaucrat from Maine ((public official) who gets to determine whether the most popular politician in the US gets to be on the ballot? Half of Maine’s voters denied an opportunity to vote for their guy because of one communist scumbag bureaucrat in Maine?
          .
          Only the radical Democrats operate this way. Yes, Cal, were coming to get you and your people.

          • Sign me up for duty. We could take Maine in a half a day. Most of the Maine Democrats are retired, old lib teachers who moved from big Democrat cities to live out the rest of their miserable lives eating lobster and caviar in their woodsy retreats. They wouldn’t know how to defend themselves. Easy pickings.

          • We could take them from the North by way of the Canadian border. Or, just hire a few busloads of Mexican mercenaries from the Southern border and offer them free Medicaid, food stamps and housing. Yep, Maine would go down quick.

    • Because they are afraid of the voters.

      As Trump has stated, with good justification I think (and I am paraphrasing it here), “They (the deep state and ruling class) are really trying to attack you (the common people), not me — I just happen to be standing in the way.”

  8. A Taxpayer: Reaper posted: “Only the radical Democrats operate this way. Yes, Cal, were [sic] coming to get you and your people.” Jose posted: “Shenna Bellows life ain’t gonna be so nice from here on.”

    And you say: “your immediate implication that a certain set of people are threatening her with violence and going around killing their neighbors for daring to utter words of descend, is preposterous and insulting.”

    Fact is, Trump supporters WILL and HAVE turned to violence and threats of violence. It’s well documented. Here’s a factoid for you:

    Number of people killed in deadly attacks in the post 9/11 era, by ideology.
    130 – far right wing
    107 – Jihadist
    17 – ideological misogyny/incel ideology
    12 – Black separatist/nationalist/supremacist
    1 – far left wing

  9. Cal, here a further thought (would really like to see your source).
    Per your claim in the almost 23 years since 9/11 (ironically those deaths are NOT included in your statistic), 267 individuals were killed by ideologues of various shades. That’s 11 per year. In 2022 alone the FBI reported over 11000 single bias hate crimes and over 13000 multi-bias hate crimes and that’s for just one year. In a country with 335,906,708 citizens (US census) 267 in 23 years is too small a number to even think about making such sweeping and erroneous claims.
    Please check you source material and revise you assertions. Please also clarify your “factoid” as the way it is written it implies that the individuals killed were of that particular ideology NOT killed by ideologues.

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