Maine has joined Colorado in determining that former President Donald Trump is ineligible for the primary election ballot. This decision was made by Maine's Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, who cited Mr. Trump's role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as a disqualifying factor under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.
In contrast, California announced that Mr. Trump would remain on its ballot, as state election officials there have limited authority to remove candidates. This divergence highlights the ongoing national debate over democracy, ballot access, and the rule of law.
The Maine and Colorado decisions have intensified calls for the United States Supreme Court to address the issue of Mr. Trump's eligibility, especially considering the constitutional amendment's obscure clause enacted post-Civil War.
Meanwhile, Michigan and Minnesota courts ruled that election officials cannot prevent the Republican Party from including Mr. Trump in their primary ballots. Michigan's Supreme Court upheld a lower court's decision that political parties have the right to determine their presidential candidates' eligibility.
A decision is also pending in Oregon, where efforts to remove Mr. Trump from the ballot are ongoing, despite the state's secretary of state previously declining to do so. As the first votes of the 2024 election near, these contrasting state decisions and the pending Supreme Court involvement underscore the complex and politically charged nature of this issue.