(WASHINGTON) — Former President Donald Trump’s legal team on Tuesday appealed Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows’ ruling that deemed him ineligible from appearing on the state’s GOP primary ballot to Maine’s Superior Court, the state’s top trial court.
Trump appealed to Kennebec Court Superior Court. A decision from the trial court could later be appealed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court or the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bellows, a Democrat, wrote in her Dec. 28 decision that Trump was disqualified under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment because of his actions after the 2020 election that culminated on Jan. 6, 2021.
In their filing to the state’s Superior Court, Trump’s team argued that Bellows is a “biased decisionmaker” who “failed to provide lawful due process.”
They also said Bellows had “no legal authority” to make such a determination on federal constitutional issues, and “made multiple errors of law and acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner.”
Steven Cheung, the spokesman for the Trump campaign, echoed those arguments in a statement after the appeal was filed.
“Maine’s Secretary of State went outside of her authority, completely ignoring the Constitution when she summarily decided to remove President Trump’s name from the ballot, interfere in the election, and disenfranchise the voters of her state,” Cheung said.
Bellows had suspended the impact of her decision pending an appeal. Maine is set to hold its Republican primary contest on March 5.
Bellows acknowledged the unprecedented nature of her decision, writing last week: “I am mindful that no Secretary of State has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
“I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection,” she continued.
Maine is the second state to bar Trump from the primary ballot. The Colorado Supreme Court has also said Trump is ineligible to run for the White House because, it said, he “engaged in insurrection” on Jan. 6 — an explosive ruling Trump’s team is expected to soon appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The former president has won battles in Michigan, California and more than a dozen other states to remain on the ballot. There are still 14th Amendment-related lawsuits playing out in more than a dozen states, placing pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the complex and novel legal questions.
The Trump campaign vowed Tuesday to continue to “fight these bad-faith attempts to destroy American democracy and he looks forward to victory both in the state courts and in the presidential election this November.”
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