Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) is going to have to wait for the United States Supreme Court before she can officially remove Donald Trump from her state’s ballot.
On Wednesday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld a lower-court ruling that halted Trump’s removal from the Maine ballot.
Bellows, who is not a lawyer, decided last month that that Trump is constitutionally disqualified from the presidency under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
She reached that conclusion after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump is disqualified.
Trump appealed Bellows’ decision, and a lower court ruled that Bellows would have to wait until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the novel issue before removing Trump from the ballot. Bellows then appealed that decision because she wanted to force Maine courts to make a ruling before the state’s primary election on March 5.
But the Maine Supreme Judicial Court unanimously upheld the lower court ruling. The justices wrote in their opinion:
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. This uncertainty is, however, precisely what guides our decision not to undertake immediate appellate review in this particular case.
The political world now waits for the Supreme Court to issue the final word in the matter. The justices will hear oral arguments on Feb. 8, and they will likely expedite their ruling because the election is less than a year away.
Bellows, meanwhile, has vowed to abide by the ruling of the court, the Associated Press reported.
While legal scholars debate whether the 14th Amendment applies to the office of the presidency or whether Trump participated in an “insurrection” — a crime with which he has not been charged — the former president has a plethora of legal arguments at his disposal to defend himself from the ballot removals.
It is widely expected, therefore, that the Supreme Court will rule in Trump’s favor.