Maine's top court refuses to rule before Supreme Court on whether Trump will stay off ballot

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(WASHINGTON) -- Maine's Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal from Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, who requested last week for the high court to consider her earlier decision to bar former President Donald Trump from the state's primary ballot under the 14th Amendment.

Maine's top trial court had just days earlier deferred ruling on her landmark decision, which had been appealed by Trump's team, until after the U.S. Supreme Court settled a similar 14th Amendment case from Colorado, ordering that the challenge would go back down to Bellows for reconsideration after the nation's highest court had their say.

Bellows filed an appeal of that decision to the Maine Supreme Court so that it might speed up the judicial process ahead of the state's primary date, but the Court on Wednesday declined to hear the challenge because the Maine Superior Court's decision was not a "final" judgment, just a deferment.

"Because the appeal is not from a final judgment, we dismiss the appeal as interlocutory and not justiciable," the seven-justice Court wrote in a 19-page decision.

“Requiring a final judgment in this situation serves the interests of justice; enhances administrative and judicial efficiency; averts our issuance of what would likely be, at least in some part, an advisory opinion; and it allows for true and effective decision-making when the matter is ripe," the decision reads.

Trump's campaign billed the dismissal as a victory on Wednesday night, calling it a "disenfranchisement effort" that was "soundly rejected by Maine's Supreme Court.

Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 6:32AM by Isabella Murray, ABC News Permalink