Maine’s Top Court Declines To Weigh In On Trump Ballot Access, Punts To SCOTUS

The Maine Supreme Court declined to weigh in on whether former President Donald Trump would be disqualified from the state’s ballot, instead deferring to an expected ruling from the Supreme Court.

Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows declared Trump ineligible to appear on the ballot Dec. 28, citing the Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, but the ruling was placed on hold by a state superior court judge. The United States Supreme Court will hear Trump’s appeal of a Dec. 19 ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court that disqualified him from that state’s ballot on Feb. 8.

“We now dismiss the appeal because we conclude that it is interlocutory and that no statutory or judicially created exception to our rule requiring a final judgment on appeal applies,” the Maine Supreme Court’s decision said in response to Bellows’ appeal on the hold.

 

Special counsel Jack Smith secured a four-count indictment against Trump relating to his efforts to contest the results of the 2020 election in August, on charges that included conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted and conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the Jan. 6 proceedings. Smith did not charge Trump with insurrection.

“The Secretary of State suggests that there is irreparable harm because a delay in certainty about whether Trump’s name should appear on the primary ballot will result in voter confusion,” the court said in the unanimous unsigned opinion. “This uncertainty is, however, precisely what guides our decision not to undertake immediate appellate review in this particular case. There are multiple alternative outcomes that would be more effectively addressed through the Superior Court’s order of remand to the Secretary of State.”

Hundreds of people stormed the Capitol building during the certification of the electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021.

Legal experts predicted the Supreme Court will overturn the Colorado court’s ruling.

Harold Hutchison on January 24, 2024


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