Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday appealed against the decision by Maine's top election official ruling him ineligible to appear on the state's primary ballot.
U.S. Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows decided that Trump was disqualified from the state ballot in next year's U.S. presidential primary election on December 28, 2023 because of his role in the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Trump's lawyers argued in a court filing that the decision was "the product of a process infected by bias and pervasive lack of due process." His legal team disputed that Trump took part in an insurrection and argued that Bellows did not have the authority to exclude him from the ballot.
"I have confidence in my decision and in the rule of law," Bellows said in a statement after the appeal was filed.
The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to consider the issue soon, after Colorado's top court barred Trump from the primary ballot in that state. A ruling from the Supreme Court could provide a nationwide resolution to questions surrounding Trump's eligibility.
Several similar lawsuits filed against Trump in other states have been rejected by courts. Trump's campaign has called the ballot challenges a "hostile assault on American democracy."
Opinion polls show Trump with a commanding lead in the Republican nominating contest. State-by-state contests to select a nominee begin on January 15 in Iowa.
(With input from agencies)
(Cover: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Waterloo, Iowa, U.S., December 19, 2023. /CFP)