Trump barred from presidential race in second US state

The former president has been disqualified in Maine

Maine has become the second US state to officially disqualify Donald Trump from seeking a new term as president in 2024. He was previously barred from appearing on the ballot in Colorado. 

Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows ruled that Trump is ineligible to run for president, citing his alleged role in the 2021 United States Capitol riot.

“I conclude that Mr. Trump’s primary petition is invalid,” Bellows wrote in her decision published on Thursday. “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.”

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution says that people who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” cannot “hold any office, civil or military.” The section was initially added in the 1860s to disqualify politicians that supported the Confederacy during the civil war.

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Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican Party’s nomination to run against President Joe Biden in 2024. The fate of his candidacy will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, however, because Colorado Republicans have already appealed their state’s decision to bar him from the ballot.

“Unless the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision is overturned, any voter will have the power to sue to disqualify any political candidate,” the party attorneys wrote on Wednesday. They further argued that the ruling against Trump would “not only distort the 2024 presidential election,” but throw the court “in political controversies over nebulous accusations of insurrection.”

The Democrats have accused Trump of incitement after on January 6, 2021 a mob of his supporters clashed with police and briefly overran the Capitol building hoping to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s election win. Trump continues to claim that the 2020 election was “rigged,” but denies any role in the violence on Capitol Hill. He insists that the allegations against him are politically motivated.

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