A Democratic House lawmaker from Maine is criticizing his state’s decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 Republican primary ballot.
“I voted to impeach Donald Trump for his role in the January 6th insurrection. I do not believe he should be re-elected as President of the United States,” Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, began on Thursday night.
“However, we are a nation of laws, therefore until he is actually found guilty of the crime of insurrection, he should be allowed on the ballot.”
In a shock decision issued Thursday evening, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said that Trump was ineligible for the state’s 2024 primary ballot. She cited a clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that bars people who have “engaged in insurrection” from running for elected office without two-thirds congressional approval.
The clause was originally meant to bar former Confederate soldiers and officers from holding positions in the U.S. government or military.
It was also referenced by Colorado’s highest court in a 4-3 ruling last week similarly barring Trump from that state’s primary ballot. The decision was challenged by the Colorado GOP, setting up a battle before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bellows’ Thursday night decision has unified the Republican Party around Trump, including his allies and rivals.
While most national Democrats remained silent on the matter, some did applaud Trump’s removal from the Maine primary ballot.
“The text of the Fourteenth Amendment is clear. No person who engaged in an insurrection against the government can ever again serve in elected office,” Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, wrote online.
“On January 6, 2021, Donald Trump incited a violent mob to block Congress from certifying the Electoral College [and] overturn the 2020 presidential election. Our Constitution is the very bedrock of America and our laws and it appears Trump’s actions are prohibited by the Constitution.”
Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., similarly said on X, “Donald Trump incited a violent riot to overthrow American democracy. Of course he should be banned from the presidency forever.”