February 29, 2024


FILE – Former President Donald Trump speaks throughout a decide to caucus rally, Dec. 19, 2023, in Waterloo, Iowa. AP Photograph/Charlie Neibergall, File

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday appealed a ruling by Maine’s Democratic secretary of state barring him from the poll over his position within the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol. He was anticipated to additionally ask the U.S. Supreme Court docket to rule on his eligibility to return to the presidency in a associated Colorado case.

The Republican candidate appealed the Maine choice by Shenna Bellows, who turned the primary secretary of state in historical past to bar somebody from operating for the presidency underneath the not often used Part 3 of the 14th Modification. That provision prohibits those that “engaged in riot” from holding workplace.

Trump’s attraction to the Maine Supreme Court docket declares that Bellows had no jurisdiction within the matter and asks that she be required to position Trump on the March 5 major poll. The attraction argues that she abused her discretion and relied on “untrustworthy proof.”

“The secretary ought to have recused herself on account of her bias towards President Trump, as demonstrated by a documented historical past of prior statements prejudging the difficulty introduced,” Trump’s attorneys wrote.

Bellows reiterated to The Related Press on Tuesday that her ruling was on pause pending the end result of the attraction, which had been anticipated.

“That is a part of the method. I’ve confidence in my choice and confidence within the rule of legislation. That is Maine’s course of and it’s actually necessary that at the beginning each single considered one of us who serves in authorities uphold the Structure and the legal guidelines of the state,” she stated.

Trump on Tuesday was additionally anticipated to attraction an identical ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court docket on to the U.S. Supreme Court docket. The nation’s highest court docket has by no means issued a choice on Part 3, and the Colorado court docket’s 4-3 ruling that it utilized to Trump was the primary time in historical past the availability was used to bar a presidential contender from the poll.

Trump’s critics have filed dozens of lawsuits in search of to disqualify him from the poll in a number of states.

None succeeded till a slim majority of Colorado’s seven justices — all of whom had been appointed by Democratic governors — dominated towards Trump. Critics warned that it was an overreach and that the court docket couldn’t merely declare that the Jan. 6 assault was an “riot” with out a extra established judicial course of.

Per week after Colorado’s ruling, Bellows issued her personal. Critics warned it was much more perilous as a result of it may pave the best way for partisan election officers to easily disqualify candidates they oppose. Bellows, a former head of Maine’s department of the American Civil Liberties Union, has beforehand criticized Trump and his habits on Jan. 6.

Bellows, who has stated her private views had nothing to do along with her ruling, was the primary prime election official to maneuver to bar Trump from the poll. Many others, Democrats and Republicans, had advised activists urging them to strike Trump from the poll that they didn’t have that energy.

Part 3 is novel authorized territory previously century, barely used because the years after the Civil Warfare, when it stored defeated Confederates from returning to their former authorities positions. The 2-sentence clause says that anybody who swore an oath to “assist” the Structure after which engaged in riot can’t maintain workplace except a two-thirds vote of Congress permits it.

Congress granted amnesty to most former Confederates in 1872, and Part 3 fell into disuse. Authorized students consider its solely software within the twentieth century was being cited by Congress in 1919 to dam the seating of a socialist who opposed U.S. involvement in World Warfare I and was elected to the Home of Representatives.

But it surely returned to make use of after Jan. 6, 2021. In 2022, a decide used it to take away a rural New Mexico county commissioner from workplace after he was convicted of a misdemeanor for coming into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Liberal teams sued to dam Republican Reps. Madison Cawthorn and Marjorie Taylor Greene from operating for reelection due to their roles on that day. Cawthorn’s case turned moot when he misplaced his major in 2022, and a decide dominated to maintain Greene on the poll.

Some conservatives warn that, if Trump is eliminated, political teams will routinely use Part 3 towards opponents in sudden methods. They’ve advised it might be used to take away Vice President Kamala Harris, for instance, as a result of she raised bail cash for folks arrested after George Floyd’s homicide by the hands of Minneapolis police in 2020.

Trump and his allies have attacked the instances towards him as “anti-democratic” and sought to tie them to President Joe Biden as a result of the Colorado case and a few others are funded by liberal teams who share distinguished donors with the Democratic president. However Biden’s administration has famous that the president has no position within the litigation.

Those that assist utilizing the availability towards Trump counter that the Jan. 6 assault was unprecedented in American historical past and that there shall be few instances so ripe for Part 3. If the excessive court docket lets Trump keep on the poll, they’ve contended, it is going to be one other instance of the previous president bending the authorized system to excuse his excessive habits.

Riccardi reported from Denver.