Friday AM Set for Hearing in Challenge to Trump on Maine Primary March Petition


Will Former President Donald J. Trump be Found Ineligible to be on the March 2024 Republican  Primary Petition?  

A hearing regarding challenges to the Primary Nomination Petition of Donald J. Trump on Maine’s Presidential Primary Election will be held at 10:00 am on Friday, December 15, 2023 at the Maine State House, Room 228, according to a press release received late this afternoon from the Augusta office of Secretary of State Shenna Bellows.  She will serve as the Presiding Official at the hearing.

Three challenges were received by the Secretary of State last Friday from Benjamin Gaines, Esq. (on behalf of Kimberly Rosen, Thomas Saviello and Ethan Strimling) Paul Gordon and Mary Anne Royal.  (Strimling, a Portland resident, served as its  Mayor and state senator for ten years.  Before that he served as Executive Director of Leaarning Works for 19 years).

The challengers have the burden of providing sufficient evidence to invalidate the petition the press release said.  At the hearing there will be an opportunity for both the challengers and the candidate to present oral testimony.of witnesses as well as additional documentary evidence and to make oral argument pertaining to the challenge in light of that evidence.  Any person seeking to intervene in this matter shall file a written request to the Secretary of State to:, copying the parties, no later than 3:00 pm on Thursday, December 14, 2023.

Secretary Bellows will rule on the validity of the challenges by December 22, 2023.  A challenger or a candidate may appeal the decision to the Superior Court, whose decision may be appealed to the Law Court. Live Audio of the hearing will be available to the public at:

The hearing scheduled for the end of this week complies with a December 8, 2023 filing by Ben Gaines, Esq., that challenges the validity of the petition submitted by Donald J. Trump to appear on the Republican presidential primary on March 5, 2024.  There are two reasons for this challenge. The first reason is that Trump does not meet the qualifications of the office of President of the US pursuant to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

According to the Gaines December 8 filing, because Trump previously has taken an oath to support the US Constitution and Trump engaged in an insurrection against the same, he is now ineligible to hold any office, civil or military, under the US.

The Gaines filing goes on to state that on November 17, 2023, a state trial court in Colorado concluded that Donald Trump had “engaged in an insurrection on January 6,  2021 through incitement.”  Because Trump is not eligible to hold office, his primary petition is void the filing states.

“Ironically, Senator William Fessenden of Portland, a Republican who served in President Lincoln’s cabinet, served on the Joint Committee on Reconstruction,” said   “In that capacity, he drafted the 14th Amendment that includes Section 3 that Challengers to the Trump petition claim make him ineligible to be on the Maine nomination petition next March.  It was written to assure that Jefferson Davis, former president of the Confederacy would not be permitted to run for office in the US ever again.  Fessenden is buried in Portland’s Evergreen Cemetery.”

Harvard Legal Scholar Laurence Tribe was one of the initiators of the use of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to keep Trump from being eligible to run President of the US.  Joining Professor Tribe in this position is retired Judge J. Michael Luttig.  He is a conservative member of the Republican party.

For more background information, please visit post herein dated April 12, 2017 – “Father & Son Meet at Strimling on the Street.”