The official ruling followed a hearing Bellows convened on December 15 on three challenges to Trump’s eligibility for office: two based on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and one filed under the Twenty-Second Amendment. “For the reasons set forth below, I conclude that Mr. Trump’s primary petition is invalid,” Bellows’ ruling states. “Specifically, I find that the declaration on his candidate consent form is false because he is not qualified to hold the office of the President under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
That section of the Fourteenth Amendment states:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Claiming that she did “not reach this conclusion lightly,” Bellows states in her ruling that “Democracy is sacred, and the highest court of this state has repeatedly recognized that ‘no right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live.'”
Bellows, apparently, believes that such a “precious right” is not for those who support the 45th president.
“I am mindful that no Secretary of State has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment,” Bellow continued, pushing sympathetic media to report her ruling as historic, or something. “I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has before engaged in an insurrection,” she added — even though Trump has not been charged nor convicted of insurrection.
“The oath I swore to uphold the Constitution comes first above all,” Bellow insisted while ignoring the idea of due process and inventing convictions on charges that do not exist. Instead, she ignored these inconvenient facts to insist it is her “duty” to “ensure that candidates who appear on the primary ballot are qualified for the office they seek.”
In a statement, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung called Bellows “a virulent leftist and a hyper-partisan Biden-supporting Democrat who has decided to interfere in the presidential election on behalf of Crooked Joe Biden.”
“We are witnessing, in real-time, the attempted theft of an election and the disenfranchisement of the American voter,” Cheung continued. “Democrats in blue states are recklessly and un-Constitutionally suspending the civil rights of the American voters by attempting to summarily remove President Trump’s name from the ballot.”
Calling such “partisan election interference efforts” a “hostile assault on American democracy,” Cheung said that “Biden and the Democrats simply do not trust the American voter in a free and fair election and are now relying on the force of government institutions to protect their grip on power.”
As the Trump campaign statement noted, “[s]tate courts in Michigan and Minnesota have rejected these bad-faith, bogus 14th Amendment ballot challenges, as have federal courts in New Hampshire, Arizona, Florida, Rhode Island, [and] West Virginia” in addition to “ten other federal jurisdictions.”
Pledging to “quickly file a legal objection in state court to prevent this atrocious decision in Maine from taking effect,” Cheung said “both the Constitution and the American people are on our side in this fight. President Trump’s dominating campaign has a commanding lead in the polls that has dramatically expanded as Crooked Joe Biden’s presidency continues to fail.”
The decision comes after Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that Trump was disqualified from appearing on the Centennial State’s ballot, a decision which is now on hold pending review by the Supreme Court of the United States. Similar to the Colorado decision, Bellows suspended the effect of her decision “until the Superior Court rules on any appeal.”
Bellows was previously the Democrats’ nominee for U.S. Senate in Maine but was defeated in the general election by Republican Senator Susan Collins. She subsequently was elected as a state Senator before resigning her seat to become Maine’s top election official. Before running for elected office, Bellows worked for the ACLU.