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The Villages
Sunday, May 19, 2024

State of Maine also knocks Trump off ballot

Miles Zaremski

Complementary of my earlier post (“Trump knocked off of Colorado ballot”) for this site, earlier this evening, the State of Maine’s Secretary of State has declared Trump ineligible to run on Maine’s primary ballot, because he is not qualified to run under Maine’s election laws. She has suspended the effect of her decision pending an appeal to a state court for its decision.

This Secretary of State is the first to ever deprive a presidential candidate ballot access. But she does so after providing necessary due process to Trump, an opportunity to provide witnesses (none of which he did); legal briefs that he filed; heard through legal counsel; and a hearing as required by state law. Her 34-page opinion was exhaustive in detail, and relied on Maine state election law, also in part being guided by evidence adduced in the Colorado trial court before that state’s supreme court decided as it did and on which I posted, above. But the Maine official also concluded the Colorado Supreme Court’s reasoning was “compelling”. Further, there was great reliance on the U.S. House Special Committee’s January 6 Report.

Of great import in the opinion is that no party—that includes Trump—before the Secretary of State challenged Biden not winning the 2020 presidential election.

Painting with broad strokes, the Secretary of State found (1) Trump was an officer as stated in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment that bars those running for office having previously taken an oath to the constitution to have undertaken or incited an insurrection; (2) that this provision of the Constitution is self-executing, viz, that no action by a legislative body like Congress is required to enforce it; (3) that the events of January 6 were violent, potent and long enough to constitute an insurrection; and (4) that Trump by words and actions intended to incite an insurrection and lawless action. Again, under Maine law, all this disqualified Trump to be on Maine’s primary ballot.

Though separately, the Michigan Supreme Court denied an effort on procedural grounds to keep Trump from that state’s primary ballot, it left open a further challenge under Sec.3 should Trump become the Republican nominee for president on the state’s general election ballot.

With what are we left? Because Maine now adds to what the Colorado Supreme Court has decided (and pending similar challenges to Trump’s candidacy awaiting decision in other states) , the U.S. Supreme Court will no doubt have to enter the fray, despite its members probably not wishing to do so. After all, it will be forced to decide whether our democracy is sacred enough that the rule of law should, but must, prevail over politics by not allowing voters to decide whether it wants an insurrectionist to be the nation’s next president.

Miles Zaremski is a resident of the Village of Dunedin.

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