State Supreme Court Delivers Unanimous Decision on Donald Trump Case

Maine’s highest court refused on Wednesday to weigh in on whether embattled former President Donald Trump should stay on the ballot in the state, before the U.S. Supreme Court decides on a similar case in Colorado.

On December 19, Colorado became the first state to declare Trump ineligible for the White House under a constitutional clause that prevents insurrectionists from holding office. A few days later, Maine—another Democratic-led state—moved to disqualify Trump from running on the state’s primary ballot, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

Earlier this month, a state Superior Court judge placed the decision on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on a similar case regarding Colorado on February 8.

Maine’s secretary of state, Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, appealed the state judge’s decision, seeking input from Maine’s highest court first. But with a unanimous decision on Wednesday, Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court dismissed Bellows’ appeal, ruling that the U.S. Supreme Court should weigh in before she can decide whether she wants to withdraw, modify or uphold her decision to keep Trump on the primary ballot.

Donald Trump

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“The Secretary of State suggests that there is irreparable harm because a delay in certainty about whether Trump’s name should appear on the primary ballot will result in voter confusion,” the court said, as quoted by the Associated Press. “This uncertainty is, however, precisely what guides our decision not to undertake immediate appellate review in this particular case.”

The primary vote in Maine is set for Super Tuesday, March 5. Bellows has warned that the date is fast approaching, and some voters might cast their ballots before the issue of whether Trump would be on the ballot is still unresolved, reported The Hill.

Newsweek contacted the Office of the Secretary of the Department of the Secretary of State of Maine and Trump’s attorney Alina Habba‘s office for comment by email on Thursday.

The removal of Trump from the primary ballot in both Colorado and Maine is now expected to be in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, which will ultimately decide whether the Republican frontrunner can remain in the race.

As of January 24, Trump had an estimated 68.5 percent of the vote in Republican polling, according to FiveThirtyEight. His only standing rival Nikki Haley trailed him by a huge margin with 12.2 percent of the vote.

To have the Supreme Court decide on whether Trump should stay on the ballot is what the former president said he wanted. Faced with both Colorado’s and Maine’s decisions to disqualify him, Trump said he would have appealed any disqualification to the nation’s highest court.

The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, and the court’s decision is expected to be dramatically consequential for the November 5 election, which is shaping up to be a rematch between Trump and incumbent Joe Biden.