Former President Donald Trump received positive news this week after a Maine judge ruled that the former president should remain on the ballot in that state, at least until a review by the United States Supreme Court. Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) appealed the decision, which could have major implications for state and federal elections.
Maine State Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy ruled that she would not make a decision on whether or not Trump was eligible for the ballot. Instead, Murphy instructed Bellows to not act further until there was a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the similar Colorado ballot case.
Bellows argued that she should not have to wait for the high court ruling followed by a second decision depending on the decision.
Bellows made her decision arguing that Trump was not eligible due to the ‘insurrection’ clause in the 14th Amendment.
Maine secretary of state appeals ruling deferring Trump ballot decision https://t.co/uyLFWGDWXQ
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) January 19, 2024
Following the decision, Bellows appealed the ruling Friday. She said that she sought a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, but also requested a quick review by the Maine Supreme Court.
“I know both the constitutional and state authority questions are of grave concern to many,” she said. “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.”
Any decision would have to be made relatively quickly. Maine is holding its state Republican primary election on March 5. Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court has a hearing in the similar Colorado ballot case scheduled for Feb. 8.
Due to the fact that Bellows stayed her decision pending court review, it is unknown whether Trump will remain on the ballot or not. If there is no review by the state or national supreme courts, then his name would most likely remain on the ballot.
While the split decision by the Colorado Supreme Court case was done as part of judicial proceedings, Bellows made the decision to bar Trump from Maine’s primary election ballot by herself.