On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump appealed a decision by Maine’s leading election official to remove him from the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot.
Filed in Kennebec County Superior Court, the complaint challenges the Dec. 28 decision issued by Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, which arbitrarily declared that Trump “engaged in insurrection” up to and during the events of Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol, and is disqualified from appearing on the state’s presidential primary ballot. Bellows rationalized her election-rigging move by employing a twisted legal theory regarding Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which deals with the “treatment of former state and federal officials, and their allies, who had taken sides with the Confederacy” during the Civil War.
In their Tuesday appeal, Trump’s lawyers argued that Bellows possessed no legal authority under Maine law “to consider the federal constitutional issues presented” and “made multiple errors of law and acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner” by removing the former president from the ballot.
“By exceeding the limited scope provided for challenges by Maine’s Legislature, the Secretary has violated the Constitution’s Elector’s Clause, which requires states to appoint presidential electors ‘in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct,'” the complaint reads. “Because President Trump’s sworn statement, in the form provided by the Secretary, was factually true, it was an error of law, arbitrary and capricious, and an abuse of discretion for her to find it false. All of the evidence on which the Secretary purported to rely was irrelevant to any issue properly before her.”
Trump’s legal team further argued that Bellows — who “lacked statutory authority to hear the challenges” — should have recused herself from the matter “due to her bias against President Trump, as demonstrated by a documented history of prior statements prejudging the issue presented.” In their initial Dec. 27 request for Bellows to disqualify herself from the matter, Trump’s lawyers highlighted numerous examples of the Democrat secretary practically proclaiming Trump guilty of insurrection in the years preceding her Dec. 28 decision.
Following the Senate’s Feb. 13, 2021, acquittal of Trump on impeachment charges, for example, Bellows issued a tweet stating: “The Jan 6 insurrection was an unlawful attempt to overthrow the results of a free and fair election. Today 57 Senators including King & Collins found Trump guilty. That’s short of impeachment but nevertheless an indictment. The insurrectionists failed, and democracy prevailed.”
“Not saying not disappointed. He should have been impeached. But history will not treat him or those who voted against impeachment kindly,” Bellows added in a follow-up post. The Democrat secretary also issued a tweet on Jan. 6, 2022, describing the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot as a “violent insurrection.”
Bellows’ Dec. 28 decision is the latest in a series of Democrat attempts to unilaterally deny Americans the ability to vote for their preferred candidate in the upcoming 2024 election cycle. On Dec. 19, the Colorado Supreme Court similarly misconstrued the 14th Amendment to justify kicking the 45th president off of the state’s 2024 ballot. Following an appeal filed by the Colorado GOP with the U.S. Supreme Court, Colorado’s Democrat secretary of state has since agreed to keep Trump on the primary ballot unless the high court “affirms the lower court’s ruling or declines to take up the case.”