Maine judge defers decision on Trump 14th Amendment question until Supreme Court rules

On Wednesday, a Maine judge delayed a decision about whether the former president Trump was disqualified from voting in the state under the 14th Amendment. This allowed the Supreme Court the opportunity to weigh in first on this extraordinary dispute.

Maine Secretary of state Shenna Bellows ruled that Trump was disqualified last month, making Maine second to rule this way. The former president appealed the decision to court.

In a decision issued on Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Michaela Murphy declined to comment on the merits of the case.

Murphy instead slammed on the brakes, pending the Supreme Court’s decision in a Colorado-based case that challenged Trump’s eligibility to run for office. Trump’s name is still on the ballot.


Oral arguments are scheduled for February 8th, and the high court will make a quick decision that could determine Trump’s fate on the ballots of states all across the nation.

The 14th Amendment prevents anyone from holding “anyoffice…under the United States”, if they have “engaged in rebellion” after swearing to support the Constitution. Plaintiffs argue that Trump should not be allowed to run for office because of his actions in relation to the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021.

We’re pleased with the Court’s decision that Trump is an “insurrectionist” and that the 14th Amendment applies. “We’ll be deciding next steps shortly,” Ethan Strimling said in a press release. Strimling is a former Portland, Maine mayor who was one of the first to challenge Trump’s eligibility.

Murphy’s ruling returns the Maine case to the secretary-of-state, instructing Bellows that he should wait for the Supreme Court to rule and then issue a revised ruling within 30 days in light of their opinion.

Murphy’s 17-page decision stated that the United States Supreme Court accepting the Colorado case changed the order of these issues to be decided and which court should decide them.

Her ruling went on to say that “while it is impossible to predict what the Supreme Court’s decision will be, it should at least clarify the role of state decision makers, such as secretaries of states and state judicial officials, in adjudicating disqualification claims brought under Section Three (of the Fourteenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution.”

Murphy agreed to maintain Trump’s name in Maine’s ballot until the Supreme Court makes its decision. Both parties had agreed to this move and in Colorado, a similar pause was implemented.

This means that Trump’s name will be on the ballot until the highest court of the country, including three Trump nominees, issues a ruling.

“This is the right action and we will not compromise in our opposition against these bad-faith scams.” Steven Cheung, Trump’s spokesman, said that the president is confident we will win with a fair decision on the issues before the Supreme Court.

Maine and Colorado both hold their primaries Super Tuesday, March 5, 2019.