Here we go again.
Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, announced Thursday evening that she is blocking Trump from appearing on the state’s ballot based on false claims that Trump incited an insurrection against the United States.
“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 in her decision. “I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection. The oath I swore to uphold the Constitution comes first above all, and my duty under Maine’s election laws, when presented with a Section 336 challenge, is to ensure that candidates who appear on the primary ballot are qualified for the office they seek.”
“The events of January 6, 2021 were unprecedented and tragic,” Bellows continued. “They were an attack not only upon the Capitol and government officials, but also an attack on the rule of law. The evidence here demonstrates that they occurred at the behest of, and with the knowledge and support of, the outgoing President. The U.S. Constitution does not tolerate an assault on the foundations of our government, and [Maine law] requires me to act in response.”
Bellows, the top election official in the state, had heard legal challenges from both sides of the issue earlier this month before announcing her decision on Thursday. The move comes a day after the Michigan Supreme Court rejected efforts to remove Trump from their state’s ballot.
Trump has never been charged with sedition or participating in an insurrection. All evidence shows these allegations are baseless. Trump was still speaking when the violence at the Capitol began, and there’s also ample evidence that the riot was preplanned by various groups. Perhaps more importantly, Trump specifically called on his supporters to engage in peaceful protest. “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” Trump said in his speech.
Bellows was clearly emboldened by the actions of the Colorado Supreme Court, which she cited multiple times in her ruling. “Much of that evidence is in the record here, and I find the reasoning of the Colorado Supreme Court compelling,” she wrote. “That said, even without the benefit of the Anderson decision, I have little trouble concluding that the events of January 6, 2021 were an insurrection within the meaning of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
The Trump campaign blasted Bellows’ ruling.
“The Maine Secretary of State is a former ACLU attorney, a virulent leftist and a hyper-partisan Biden-supporting Democrat who has decided to interfere in the presidential election on behalf of Crooked Joe Biden,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement received by PJ Media. “We are witnessing, in real-time, the attempted theft of an election and the disenfranchisement of the American voter. 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. Make no mistake, these partisan election interference efforts are a hostile assault on American democracy. Biden and the Democrats simply do not trust the American voter in a free and fair election and are now relying on the force of government institutions to protect their grip on power.”
“State courts in Michigan and Minnesota have rejected these bad-faith, bogus 14th Amendment ballot challenges, as have federal courts in New Hampshire, Arizona, Florida, Rhode Island, West Virginia, along with ten other federal jurisdictions,” Cheung continued. “We know both the Constitution and the American people are on our side in this fight. President Trump’s dominating campaign has a commanding lead in the polls that has dramatically expanded as Crooked Joe Biden’s presidency continues to fail.”
Cheung added that the campaign intends to appeal.
Like the Colorado Supreme Court, Bellows suspended the effects of her decision pending appeal.