California and Maine are now trying to follow in the footsteps of Colorado, as officials in both states have indicated that they are exploring options to keep former President Donald Trump off of their state primary ballots.
On Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court decided to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters in the state, ruling that the U.S. Constitution’s “Insurrection Clause” prohibits Trump from appearing on the ballot — despite the fact that there is no evidence that Trump took part in an insurrection and he has not been convicted.
President Trump has never been convicted of any crime. This Colorado Supreme Court decision is a clear violation of not only his rights, but the rights of the American voter to vote for the candidate of their choice. This decision is what ELECTION INTERFERENCE looks like!
— General Mike Flynn (@GenFlynn) December 21, 2023
While many expect this ruling to be overturned on appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court, two states are already gearing up to use Colorado’s ruling as precedent to remove Trump from their ballots as well.
On Wednesday, it was reported that Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) was looking into options that would permit her to exclude Trump from Maine’s primary ballot in March. Attorneys in the state had already been filing to remove the GOP presidential frontrunner from the ballot and were arguing the issue with Trump’s legal team at the Maine State House hearing last week.
“The challengers have the burden of providing sufficient evidence to invalidate the petition,” Bellows’s office wrote in a statement released last week. “At the hearing there will be an opportunity for both the challengers and the candidate to present oral testimony of witnesses as well as additional documentary evidence, and to make oral argument pertaining to the challenge in light of that evidence.”
The complaint filed in Maine argued that Trump had “engaged in insurrection” during the events of January 6, 2021, and thus he is “now ineligible to hold any office, civil or military, under the United States.”
Trump’s legal team has objected to these allegations, pointing out that the former president had clearly told January 6 protesters to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard.
If Bellows allows Trump’s name to be removed from Maine’s primary ballot, this decision is very likely to make it to the Supreme Court, just like the Colorado ruling.
Meanwhile in California, Lieutenant Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (D) sent a letter to California Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) on Wednesday advocating for her to look into options for removing Trump’s name from the ballot.
Citing the Colorado Supreme Court ruling, Kounalakis claimed that it “is about honoring the rule of law in our country and protecting the fundamental pillars of our democracy.”
The Democrat lieutenant governor went on to claim that the Colorado court’s decision “can be the basis for a similar decision here in our state. The constitution is clear: you must be 35 years old and not be an insurrectionist.”
“California must stand on the right side of history,” the letter continued.