USA To Colorado: US state Maine excludes Trump from primary election

Donald Trump is getting into further legal trouble: The presidential candidate has to go to court to ensure that he is allowed to run in the election in all states.

Another explosive decision in the US election campaign: Maine is the second state after Colorado to exclude former President Donald Trump from the primary for the Republican presidential nomination. Maine’s top election supervisor announced this on Thursday evening (local time) on the X platform, formerly Twitter.

Post Maine

The reason given was that Trump disqualified himself from the office of president with his behavior in connection with the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Trump’s team immediately announced that they would take legal action against it. Until then, the decision is suspended for the time being. In the end, the Supreme Court in the USA will probably have to clarify the delicate question.

The background

Trump supporters stormed the parliament building in Washington on January 6, 2021. Congress met there to formally confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Trump had previously incited his supporters during a speech. As a result of the riots, five people died. Trump faces charges of attempted election fraud for his actions surrounding the vote.

Based on these events, various plaintiffs in various US states have been trying for some time to have Trump’s name removed from ballot papers for the 2024 presidential election. The concrete background is the so-called ban on insurrection in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. It states that no one may hold a higher office in the state who has previously participated as a public official in an insurrection against the state. Although some examples of such higher offices are given in the passage, the office of president is not explicitly mentioned.

In states like Michigan and Minnesota, plaintiffs have already failed in their actions against Trump. In the large and important state of California, the top election supervisor, Shirley Weber, also published the list of presidential candidates for the primary election on Thursday evening (local time) – with Trump’s name on it. Decisions regarding Trump’s participation in the primaries are still pending in various other states. Colorado and Maine are the only states so far where the efforts against him have been successful.

The decision in Maine

Secretary of State for Elections Shenna Bellows concluded that the ex-president’s primary petition was “invalid.” According to a constitutional amendment, Trump is “not qualified to be president.” According to Bellow’s statement, people who have incited an “insurrection” against the constitution are barred from voting. The Democrat admitted that she was aware that no Secretary of State had ever denied a presidential candidate voting access on that legal basis. “I am also aware that no presidential candidate has ever participated in an insurrection before.”

The consequences

Expecting that Trump’s team would appeal, Bellows suspended her decision for now. So nothing has been finally decided yet – not even in Colorado. The Supreme Court there also ruled last week that Trump was unsuitable for the office of president because of his role in connection with the storming of the Capitol and therefore could not take part in the primary election. The American Center for Law and Justice has already filed an appeal on behalf of the Colorado Republican Party. Further objection is expected from Trump himself. The Supreme Court in Colorado also suspended its decision until the matter is finally resolved.

Trump could possibly be removed from the ballot in other states in the cases that are still ongoing. It can be assumed that in the end the highest court of the USA, the Supreme Court, will have to decide the question of Trump’s participation in the elections. During his term in office, Trump shifted the majority on the court significantly to the right. However, the Supreme Court did not always decide in his favor.

What now?

The wheels of justice grind slowly, especially those of the Supreme Court. The Republican primaries in Colorado and Maine are scheduled for March 5th, the so-called Super Tuesday, when voting will take place in a number of US states. The ballot papers are printed some time in advance. It is unclear whether a final decision on the issue will be available from the Supreme Court in time – especially because some intermediate legal steps will be necessary before then. For now, his name will remain on the ballot in both states.

But Trump is already making more history: that a former US president and current presidential candidate was denied suitability for the highest office in the state because of his involvement in an insurrection and was removed from the ballot by a court or a Secretary of State it never. And it is causing further legal trouble for the Republican, who is already facing four major court cases in the coming months on various criminal charges, which will keep him busy in addition to the intensive election campaign.

The primaries, in which the Democrats and Republicans choose their respective presidential candidates, begin in mid-January. The actual presidential election is scheduled for early November 2024. Trump is currently far ahead in polls among Republican candidates. Among the Democrats, incumbent Joe Biden is running for a second term in office without any serious competition.