Former US President Donald Trump is battling to reverse a ruling made by Secretary of State Shenna Bellows of Maine’s election board that barred him from running in the state’s Republican presidential primary the following year.
According to US media reports, Donald Trump filed an appeal on Tuesday, challenging Bellows’ ruling and blaming his exclusion on his claimed involvement in the US Capitol attack on January 6, 2021.
The front-runner for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump, filed a request with a state Superior Court to overturn Bellows’ decision preventing him from appearing on the March 5 ballot. Bellows, a Democrat, claimed that Trump’s supposed involvement in encouraging the uprising following his loss in the 2020 election disqualified him from holding office under the US Constitution.
Trump’s legal team has continuously denied any connection to the uprising and contested Bellows’ right to keep him off the ballot.
The ruling was the result of a request by former Maine lawmakers who urged Bellows to exclude Trump from the ballot, citing a clause in the constitution that bars someone from running for office if they commit “insurrection” after taking an oath of allegiance to the US.
Under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, a number of advocacy organizations and anti-Trump groups have launched many challenges to Trump’s candidacy. The main focus of these legal disputes is on Trump’s purported inciting of followers with fictitious allegations of election fraud, as well as the disturbances in the Capitol intended to obstruct Joe Biden’s appointment as President.
It is expected that the case will make its way to the US Supreme Court after Trump was similarly excluded off Colorado’s primary ballot. Questions over Trump’s eligibility might have a national answer if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the ruling.
Although such cases against Trump have been denied by courts in other states, Trump’s team views these ballot challenges as an insult to American democracy.
As state-by-state contests begin on January 15, opinion polls show that Trump is still comfortably ahead in the Republican nomination race despite these legal squabbles.