Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows appeared quite proud of her decision Thursday to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot.
Bellows appeared on MSNBC’s “All In” immediately after issuing her ruling saying, “I am duty-bound to make this determination. We also, I rather, lay out that the record demonstrates that in fact the events of January 6, 2021, which were unprecedented and tragic, were an insurrection in the meaning of section 3 the 14th Amendment.”
The provision states that anyone who has sworn an oath to the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” is ineligible for office.
It was adopted after the Civil War as a way to bar from office those who fought for or materially supported the Confederacy.
Bellows — who formerly served as executive director of the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union in Maine and was a Joe Biden elector in 2020 — further justified her decision to bar Trump from the ballot explaining, “Under the law there’s a very compressed timeline in evaluating this, I came to the conclusion that I could not, unfortunately or fortunately, wait for the United States Supreme Court to make a decision. The Maine law required me to issue that decision.”
Democrat Shenna Bellows explains that she personally decided that Trump was guilty of engaging in an insurrection.
So she unilaterally removed the leading Republican presidential candidate from Maine’s ballot.
She gleefully tells MSDNC “I could not, unfortunately—or… pic.twitter.com/jPpmaxx9yr
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) December 29, 2023
During the course of the interview, Bellows broke out into a big smile when “All In” guest host Jason Johnson asked her about the voter turnout out in Maine.
“How do you get such high turnout in the state among all sorts of political partisans?” he asked.
“I smile because we were No. 1 in voter turnout per capita in 2022,” Bellows answered.
“We have same-day voter registration. We have no excuse absentee voting up to 30 days prior to Election Day. We make it really easy to register to vote, to cast your ballot and know your ballot will be counted,” she added, still with all smiles.
“We’re really proud of our national leadership in voter participation,” Bellows said.
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Bellows clearly places a high premium on voter participation. Let’s just hope that also includes the same level of concern about voter integrity.
In a Thursday news release, the Maine Secretary of State’s office made much of a “hearing” Bellows presided over on December 15 as some kind of proof her unilateral decision involved some level of due process for Trump.
“Mr. Trump’s occasional requests that rioters be peaceful and support law enforcement do not immunize his actions. A brief call to obey the law does not erase conduct over the course of months, culminating in his speech on the Ellipse,” Bellows wrote in her decision.
“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. I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection,” she concluded.
Trump hasn’t been convicted or even charged with engaging in an “insurrection,” and there can be little doubt that special counsel Jack Smith would have brought such charges if he felt he could get a conviction.
It is a violation of federal law to engage in a rebellion or insurrection, with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Smith’s election interference case alleges that Trump made false statements about the integrity of the 2020 election, which led to the Capitol incursion, as if the participants were not independent actors who could have had their own concerns about the election.
On Jan. 6, 2021 in his Ellipse speech, Trump encouraged his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Doesn’t sound like much of a rebellion or insurrection to me. Could you imagine if William Wallace attempted to rally the Scots with that line?
Following the speech, Trump reiterated online that he did not support violence.
The vast majority of the protesters did just what he said. A relative few engaged in violence, but it should be noted that none of them fired any shots or has even been charged with taking a gun into the Capitol. None of the Jan. 6 defendants has been charged with insurrection, either.
The only shot fired that day was by Capitol Police officer Michael Byrd, who killed unarmed protester Ashli Babbitt.
By contrast, during the Civil War, millions of shots were fired and hundreds of thousands died. That was an actual insurrection against the federal government.
Former George W. Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer suggested it’s Bellows and other Democrats trying to keep Trump off the ballot who are engaging in an insurrection.
“Make no mistake: Attempts to throw Trump off the ballot are white-collar insurrections, carried out by Democrats in powerful positions, who falsely use the ‘law’ as a weapon,” he posted on X on Friday.
“They fear a vote of the people, so they resort to this. This is an insurrection,” Fleischer added.
Make no mistake: Attempts to throw Trump off the ballot are white-collar insurrections, carried out by Democrats in powerful positions, who falsely use the “law” as a weapon.
They fear a vote of the people, so they resort to this.
This is an insurrection.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) December 29, 2023
Similarly, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, no cheerleader for Trump by any stretch, responded to Bellows decision, “Maine voters should decide who wins the election – not a Secretary of State chosen by the Legislature.”
Maine voters should decide who wins the election – not a Secretary of State chosen by the Legislature.
The Secretary of State’s decision would deny thousands of Mainers the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice, and it should be overturned.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) December 29, 2023
“The Secretary of State’s decision would deny thousands of Mainers the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice, and it should be overturned,” Collins continued.
It’s now up to the U.S. Supreme Court to right this wrong.
Hopefully, they will do so unanimously.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.