Section 3 of the 14th Amendment Cited
In a stunning ruling, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows has declared that former President Donald Trump is ineligible for the state’s 2024 primary ballot. Citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office, Bellows has ignited a fierce debate.
Impeachment Request Filed
Republican lawmaker Rep. Russell Andrews has wasted no time in responding to Bellows’ decision. He has filed a request with the Maine Revisor’s Office, seeking to impeach Secretary of State Bellows. Andrews argues that the process that led to Bellows’ appointment is highly partisan, with elected Democrat Party insiders choosing the Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Treasurer.
Partisan Move or Upholding the Rule of Law?
Andrews accuses Bellows of partisanship and claims that her decision aims to secure her own political future. He argues that Trump meets all qualifications for the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary and should be allowed on the ballot. Andrews insists that Bellows’ move infringes on the rights of the 300,060 Maine voters who support Trump.
Defending the Decision
While facing criticism, Secretary of State Bellows stands by her decision. She argues that the events of January 6, 2021, were an unprecedented attack on the rule of law and that Trump actively engaged in the insurrection. Bellows maintains that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not require a conviction but focuses on engagement in insurrection.
A Constitutional Battle
The debate over Trump’s eligibility for primary ballots is not limited to Maine. Colorado’s highest court recently ruled against Trump’s inclusion on their primary ballot, citing the same constitutional clause. The decision by the Colorado GOP is expected to be challenged and could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Impeachment and Congressional Approval
Rep. Russell Andrews seeks to impeach Secretary of State Shenna Bellows on the grounds of her barring Trump from the Maine Republican Party ballot. He argues that Trump has not been convicted of any crimes or impeached and should have the right to appear on the ballot. The battle over Bellows’ impeachment is likely to intensify in the coming days.
Fox News’ Liz Elkind contributed to this report.