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Maine Bumping Trump? Hardly

Posted on Tuesday, January 2, 2024
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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20 Comments
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Shenna Bellows is suddenly famous, a registered Democrat, non-lawyer, former ACLU activist selected by Maine’s Democrat legislature to be Secretary of State. Within her purview is candidate eligibility. She just ruled Maine’s 1,039,517 registered voters cannot vote for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Does that end the discussion? Hardly.

Based on a half-day hearing, “u-tube” videos, and a law professor’s brief, she finds Trump “not qualified” to be a candidate, but an “insurrectionist” barred by Section 3, 14th Amendment.

Where does one start? This pretense to “legal authority” is a bare-knuckled attempt to block an opposing presidential contender from ballot status. It is a farce, makes a mockery of the democratic process and fair, impartial administration of elections under Maine’s Title 21-A.

The sheer political transparency, venting of spleen, personal animus toward Trump by this officer should disqualify her from running the State’s 2024 elections, if not her post. She mocks the law.

Any lawyer in her inner circle – including the Governor, Attorney General, and state legislators could have told her this will look like a cheap trick, no legal chance of holding up, and undermines trust in Maine’s electoral process, fair play, things Mainers expect of their officials.

If any tried, they failed, a mark against them and this self-absorbed state officer. In after-the-fact interviews, she virtually beams, is positively giddy, seems to bask in her newfound fame.

As someone who grew up in Maine, lives here now, has family and friends all over the state, knows the value of trust and fairness, spent time with oldline Republicans and Democrats, Margaret Chase Smith, Ed Muskie, Bill Cohen, Susan Collins, this makes me look at my boots.

Here are the arguments against this anti-democratic move, which any thoughtful Democrat or Republican – if Ms. Bellows speaks with Republicans – might have brought to her attention.

First, even if you hate Donald Trump – and he has created an A-frame of sentiment – he is entitled to all the rights of citizenship, due process, equal protection, confronting his accusers, and more deference as a leading challenger to Ms. Bellow’s obvious favorite, Mr. Biden.

What does that mean? It means no state ruling – particularly on presidential eligibility – can proceed without a dispositive ruling on whether Mr. Trump’s speech on January 6th was part of an “insurrection.” That determination lies not at the state level, but with the US Supreme Court.

Moreover, this preemptive gut punch to democracy imagines the rest of the 14th Amendment, its history and Section 1, endowing citizens with “rights and immunities,” is somehow irrelevant.

They are not irrelevant. Historically, Section 3 – which mentions “insurrection” – was specifically inserted to prevent Confederates who killed 620,000 Americans in the Civil War from running after a pardon. It had specific origin and meaning, was never a meant as a partisan sword.

To that point, most legal scholars believe Trump’s speech on January 6th was, if provocative, hardly an “insurrection.” It is protected “political speech” under 1st Amendment caselaw.

If that speech is viewed as “insurrection,” political speech is dead. That cannot be.

In short, for one state partisan to conclude she will “say what the law is,” decide who cannot run for president, put on Supreme Court robes, is comic, arrogant, impertinent, and ignorant.

What this ruling betrays is venality and partisan opportunism, what happens when a state labors under one-party rule, is dominated. Bluntly, she disrespects both the judiciary and democracy.

In Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Laos, half the dark globe, things like this do happen. Fair elections are thrown by blocking candidates. As Assistant Secretary of State to Colin Powell, I saw it happen often, but never here; preempting democracy does not work here.

What else makes this cringe-worthy, partisan nonsense? For starters, Maine’s election laws do not envision – nor does legislative history – a Secretary of State taking it on herself to bump candidates, except for failure to get sufficient signatures, inventing reasons to call the shots.

Imagine if that were true, if state appointees or judges could shape reasons to remove candidates from elections, forcing long legal battles to restore a candidacy. Our republic would end.

You would have all manner of partisan claims for candidate disqualification, say dementia or stroke, mental or physical fitness, lies and unproven crimes. That was never what our founders – or the 14th Amendment’s drafters – envisioned. Never.

Now add a few more facts. Last month, congressional investigators found the January 6th investigating committee – run by Democrats – hid and destroyed films, exculpatory evidence.

During a court trial, so-called Brady or Jenks evidence, film, documents, photos that help defendants must be produced. We now know such evidence existed and was destroyed. A parallel case, one equally important for January 6th culpability, is also at the High Court.

Finally, we know – just common sense – if this kind of tomfoolery, a single state official bouncing who she dislikes, lots of press, were allowed, fair elections end. We may not like those who qualify to run, those who one party selects, but democracy is like that – about voting, not preemptive strikes. That, well, that is just hot air in the bellows.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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Scott Schmidt
Scott Schmidt
6 months ago

The fact that congress destroyed evidence should be enough to overturn every one of the J6 convictions. Every single one of those who were wrongfully convicted should be instant multi-millionaires, and the congress members/staffers responsible for destroying evidence should be in jail.

Donna
Donna
6 months ago

Thank you, Mr. Charles for wrapping that up so nicely. Well written, as usual.

PaulE
PaulE
6 months ago

RBC,

Lawfare takes many forms, but the intent is always the same. Simply put, it is to remove political opposition to the authoritarian regime in power by means of a corrupted legal system via bogus legal charges and other means to force the opposition off the ballot or even going as far as imprisoning the individuals targeted. This is standard fare, as you already know, in countries like China under Xi, Russia under Putin, Turkey under Erdogan, Venezuela under Maduro, Brazil under Lula and numerous other socialist or openly Marxist regimes around the world. What is new is the Democrats feel they control enough levers of power within all areas of the government, that they can drop the pretense of being “for the people” and openly show what they really are. Which is America’s socialist party and thus they are using the same strategies and tactics employed elsewhere around the world here in the United States. This is of course not something as benign as tomfoolery, but rather is but a small taste of what will become standard fare in this country should the American people continue to tolerate these illegal actions. Remember, all it takes for evil to triumph over good is for good men and women to do nothing.

Have a Happy New Year and let us hope the American people wake up to what is transpiring right in front of their faces before we end up like any of the countries I’ve mentioned above. If we join the ranks of the others, there will be no coming back and the world will be a much darker and grim place.

P.S.
Of course, you realize we actually are a republic, NOT a democracy. The Founders were well aware that all democracies fail due to their inherent nature. Please do not allow the left’s talking points and bastardization of our language to permeate how we communicate between ourselves.

Larry
Larry
6 months ago

Every facet of the 14th Amendment was specifically directed to the aftermath of The Civil War. Those rabid Democrats infected with TDS, can’t see that.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
6 months ago

If you scream “from the mountains to the sea” at a Jew, it’s free speech but if you say “2020 was fixed” you’re an “insurrectionist threat to democracy”?

VikkiC
VikkiC
6 months ago

The Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to anyone but dems…they are allowed to do anything they wish!!

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
6 months ago

The incident in Maine is mire proof of the corruption and criminal behavior at all levels of the democrat party.

Anyone that is so foolish they still do not believe the democrats engage in voter fraud is choosing to be stupid. the Maine secretary of state woudl be the same person who validated they Maine vote. she knew she was breaking the law when she blocked trump from the ballot. She will actively commit voter fraud as well.

I have personal experience in Washington state with democrats having a well funded, organized, and well planned voter fraud system that was known from the governor right on down to the bottom level voting district level employees.

PaulE
PaulE
6 months ago

I see the AMAC moderator is getting an early start to issuing the old “Awaiting for Approval” flags on comments that are perfectly fine. Some things never change at AMAC.

Melinda
Melinda
6 months ago

A nice summary of a bad decision. I suppose it will all sort out eventually, but at what cost, to people and procedures?

Morbious
Morbious
6 months ago

Like the whores who grabbed the limelight to smear kavanaugh, this creature just guaranteed herself adulatory fame among lefties for decades if not life. Career opportunities will open up in dem covens filled with unclean spirits seeking death for their enemies. It was a smart move given her millieu.

Louis
Louis
6 months ago

We do not have a government, we have rulers and will continue to have rulers until the present day rulers are run out of town!

Florida Gator
Florida Gator
6 months ago

Everything is centered around Trump and the 2020 election. It’s time to move on from Trump and 2020. I don’t want the president of the free world to be 80.

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President Joe Biden departs after speaking at the NAACP Convention, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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