Maine judge defers decision on keeping Trump on US state ballot until Supreme Court weighs in

A judge in the US state of Maine ordered a state official on Wednesday to delay her decision on removing former US President Donald Trump from the state ballot until after the Supreme Court issues its highly-anticipated ruling in a similar case, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy said Secretary of State Shenna Bellows should hold off on implementing her decision on Trump's electoral eligibility until the top US court issues its ruling after agreeing to take up a similar case from Colorado earlier this month.

Bellows in late December disqualified Trump from appearing on the state's 2024 Republican primary ballot in response to challenges brought to the ex-president's nomination.

Bellows said she disqualified Trump because she determined that his primary ballot petition was invalid under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bans individuals who "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" from holding public office unless two-thirds of the House of Representatives and the Senate lend their approval.

"The record establishes that Mr. Trump, over the course of several months and culminating on January 6, 2021, used a false narrative of election fraud to inflame his supporters and direct them to the Capitol to prevent certification of the 2020 election and the peaceful transfer of power," she wrote in her decision.

Trump appealed the ruling to the Maine Supreme Court, setting the stage for Wednesday's ruling.

Colorado's top court had earlier reached a similar conclusion to Bellows, however. Both cases relate to Trump's role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection when thousands of the ex-president's supporters stormed the federal legislature in a failed attempt to keep him in power.

Murphy ruled that Maine's decision should be delayed until after the Supreme Court weighs in on a similar case from Colorado, saying the remand is "in the public interest."

"The Court concludes that a remand to the Secretary pending a decision by the Supreme Court on these unprecedented issues will promote consistency and avoid voter confusion in the weeks before the primary election," she wrote.


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