Shenna Bellows, the Maine Secretary of State, decided to remove former President Donald Trump from the ballot based on the 14th Amendment. This was even though he had never been convicted of insurrection or even accused of it. The 14th Amendment does not apply to presidents, and the facts do not support any claim of insurrection. Her decision was worse than Colorado’s decision, it wasn’t even an official court decision.
Bellows took to the airwaves to defend her decision. She dared to boast about voter participation while she disenfranchised thousands with her decision. As with the Colorado case, she suspended the decision until a court review was completed and the Trump Team announced that they would take it to court.
Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University, decimated her choice in a thread posted on X.
Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows has decided to add her name to the ignoble list of Democratic officials claiming to defend democracy by preventing its exercise for millions of Trump supporters. Here is the decision…https://t.co/ENZUrybA6i
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) December 29, 2023
He stated that he decided to “add Maine’s name to the ignoble, Democratic list of officials who claim to defend democracy while preventing it from being exercised by millions of Trump supporters.” And that “Maine demonstrates why the Court must rule quickly, clearly and hopefully unanimously to reject this pernicious idea.”
He was not impressed with her reasoning.
It is a litany that includes conclusory statements in line with Bellows’ previous public condemnations against the “insurrection”, and Trump. The case will be reviewed by the Maine courts, who will hopefully reject this theory with the same constitution-fealty as other courts.
Turley appeared with Jason Chaffetz on Fox and criticized the decision.
Jonathan Turley: “It is really striking how Bellows cloaks herself as a defender of democracy in this statement when she is preventing voters from casting their vote for what is currently the leading candidate for the presidency. So it’s a very odd claim to make in my view.” pic.twitter.com/Q64dUzBQrL
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) December 29, 2023
He said that he thought the 14th candidates in Maine who were challenging Trump went to Maine because Bellows had stated after January 6 that there was an insurrection. [They believed they would have better chances]. Turley stressed that this was a decision made by the Secretary of state and not by a court. He pointed out that she is a Democrat. He said that this still had to be judicially scrutinized and hoped the Maine court would have the same level of integrity as other states, such as Colorado, to reject it.
It is striking that Bellows, in her statement, presents herself as a defender of democracy while she prevents voters from voting for the current leading candidate for president. It’s, I think it’s an odd claim.
Turley called her interpretation fundamentally flawed. She said it wasn’t a rebellion, but a protest which turned into a riot. “There are many problems, such as applying this provision to Donald Trump.” He hoped it would “increase the urgency” of SCOTUS ruling on the issue and settling the dispute. He hoped SCOTUS would act “unanimously to eliminate this dangerous theory for good.”
Turley’s prediction that SCOTUS will likely take up the case is accurate, especially given the varying views of the state courts and secretaries. I think they are going to rule that it does not apply to Trump. In the meantime, it’s not surprising if other courts and Secretaries of State join this pernicious campaign to remove Trump.