Democrats Turn On Maine Secretary Of State Over Trump Ballot Decision

By Victor Winston, updated on December 29, 2023

In a surprising move, Maine's Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows has removed former President Donald Trump from the state's ballot for the 2024 election. This decision has caused a stir within her own party.

Maine's top election official cites the 14th Amendment in barring Trump from the 2024 ballot, sparking intra-party debate.

Bellows referenced the 14th Amendment's insurrection clause in her ruling, linking Trump's actions related to the January 6 Capitol attack to insurrection. This clause has historically not been used in such a context, making her decision unprecedented.

Maine's Democratic congressional members, Rep. Jared Golden and Sen. Angus King, have publicly opposed Bellows' decision. Despite their previous votes to impeach and convict Trump, they argue that the choice to elect a president should remain with the voters.

Colorado also recently removed Trump from its 2024 ballot, highlighting a growing trend among some states. Meanwhile, California has chosen to allow Trump on its ballot, illustrating a divide in approach to the former president's eligibility.

Bellows' Decision Highlights Partisan Tensions

Bellows is the first Secretary of State to invoke the 14th Amendment, marking a significant moment in electoral politics. Her decision has intensified the ideological divide within Maine's Democratic delegation.

Golden has been known for deviating from his party's line on various issues, such as gun control and infrastructure spending. Similarly, King has shown independence by endorsing candidates across party lines, including Republicans.

Republican voices have condemned the ballot removals as undemocratic, insisting such decisions undermine the electoral process. Meanwhile, many Democrats support the move, seeing it as a stand against insurrection.

Rep. Jared Golden expressed his view on the matter:

"I voted to impeach Donald Trump for his role in the January 6th Insurrection. I do not believe he should be re-elected as President of the United States. However, we are a nation of laws, therefore until he is actually found guilty of the crime of insurrection, he should be allowed on the ballot."

Constitutional Debates and Electoral Implications

The use of the 14th Amendment in this context has sparked a debate over its interpretation and application. It highlights the complexities of constitutional law in contemporary political discourse.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, another Maine Democrat, offered a different perspective: "The text of the Fourteenth Amendment is clear. No person who engaged in an insurrection against the government can ever again serve in elected office."

This situation underscores the ideological splits not just within the Democratic Party but also across the American political spectrum. It raises questions about the balance between legal frameworks and democratic principles in electoral decisions.

Conclusion: A Nation Grapples with Democracy and Law

The decision by Maine's Secretary of State to remove a former president from the ballot is more than a state issue; it's a national conversation starter. It touches upon the very foundations of American democracy, the rule of law, and the role of elected officials in interpreting and enforcing these laws.

  • Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows bars Trump from the 2024 ballot, citing the 14th Amendment.
  • The decision met with criticism from Maine Democrats Rep. Jared Golden and Sen. Angus King.
  • Colorado has taken a similar stance, while California allows Trump on its ballot.
  • Bellows' action marks the first use of the 14th Amendment in this context.
  • The move reveals deep divisions within the Democratic Party and the broader political landscape.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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