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Maine's secretary of state on Trump and the Super Tuesday primary

Maine's Secretary of State Shenna Bellows discussed the Supreme Court's Monday ruling on how states determine primary eligibility.
Maine's secretary of state on Trump and the Super Tuesday primary
Posted at 7:11 PM, Mar 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-04 21:12:46-05

At the end of 2023, Maine's Secretary of State Shenna Bellows disqualified former President Donald Trump from the state's 2024 presidential primary ballot.

She ruled at the time that Trump was ineligible under Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment, which bans those that "engage in insurrection" from holding office.

But following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday that states cannot disqualify candidates under that clause, Trump will be a valid candidate for Maine's presidential primary, held on March 5 — and Bellows intends to make sure that election is free, fair and safe under the law.

Bellows spoke with Scripps News about the Supreme Court's ruling and what it means for the state.

"As Maine's chief elections official, my first and foremost obligation is to uphold the Constitution," Bellows said. "The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states have no authority to disqualify a federal candidate based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. So earlier today I withdrew the portion of my decision that disqualified Mr. Trump's placement on [Maine's] primary ballot. Now I had stayed my decision. His name is on the ballot that voters will be casting tomorrow, and the votes will be counted. But what's important to recognize is it isn't my personal views. It's the Constitution and the rule of law, and I swore an oath to defend those and will continue to do so."

SEE MORE: Maine bars Donald Trump from state's presidential primary ballot


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