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US Maine judge pauses decision on Trump's disqualification from presidential primary ballot

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-01-18 09:49

Former US president Donald Trump speaks at a caucus site in Clive, Iowa, the United States, Jan 15, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

SAN FRANCISCO - A judge of the US state of Maine on Wednesday paused Secretary of State Shenna Bellows' decision on former President Donald Trump's disqualification from the state ballot in the US presidential primary election.

In a 17-page order, Justice Michaela Murphy from the Superior Court in Maine said that a December decision from Bellows should remain on hold until the Supreme Court renders its decision in the Colorado dispute.

Because there are many federal issues raised in the other dispute, "it would be imprudent for this court to be the first court in Maine to address them," Murphy said.

Noting that Maine's primary is scheduled for March 5, Murphy wrote that "unless the Supreme Court before that date finds President Trump disqualified to hold the office of president, eligible Maine voters who wish to cast their vote for him in the primary will be able to do so, with the winner being determined by ranked-choice voting".

"Put simply, the United States Supreme Court's acceptance of the Colorado case changes everything about the order in which these issues should be decided, and by which court," she noted. "And while it is impossible to know what the Supreme Court will decide, hopefully it will at least clarify what role, if any, state decision-makers, including secretaries of state and state judicial officers, play in adjudicating claims of disqualification brought under Section Three of the 14th Amendment."

Trump's lawyers appealed in state court after Bellows' ruling but then asked the judge to pause proceedings to allow the US Supreme Court to rule on a similar case in Colorado.

The US Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for Feb 8.

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