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After Colorado court rules to keep Trump off ballot, Maine official delays eligibility decision

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a commit to caucus rally, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, in Waterloo, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall
/
AP
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a commit to caucus rally, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, in Waterloo, Iowa.

Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows is delaying a decision about whether former President Donald Trump can appear on the 2024 presidential ballot after a ruling by Colorado's supreme court that he should be disqualified from that state's primary for inciting an insurrection two years ago.

Bellows was expected to announce her decision by Friday, but instead the Democrat is inviting petitioners and Trump's attorneys to file additional briefs.

Those arguments are expected to center on the Colorado law court's explosive decision to keep Trump off that state's primary ballot because he incited the riots at the U.S. Capitol in 2021 after he lost the election.

The Colorado decision centers on Section Three of the 14th Amendment, which was ratified shortly after the Civil War to prevent Confederate sympathizers or enlistees from seeking office without first seeking clemency from Congress.

The Colorado ruling could be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court and a ruling there would affect decisions in the dozen or so states assessing similar challenges, including Maine.

Journalist Steve Mistler is Maine Public’s chief politics and government correspondent. He is based at the State House.