State Legislature Weighs Removing Trump From Ballot

The Hawaii state legislature is considering a bill that could remove former President Donald Trump from the ballot. The debate came as the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether or not Maine or Colorado could legally remove the former president from their states’ primary election ballots.

Proposed Senate Bill 2392 passed the Hawaii State Senate Judiciary Committee this week. The vote was contentious and only passed by one vote. The passage through the state Senate committee means that it will now come to a vote by the full chamber.

If passed, the bill would allow for elections officials to bar Trump from the ballot due to his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 protests.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Karl Rhoads (D) and says that county clerks of chief election officers “shall exclude any candidate who is disqualified by a constitutional or statutory provision.”

The bill proposed a “process for challenging an inclusion or exclusion of a candidate from a ballot. Includes a candidate’s disqualification as grounds for an election contest complaint. Specifies that electors of presidential and vice presidential candidates shall not be individuals who are disqualified by a constitutional or statutory provision.”

It would further bar Hawaii’s electors from “voting for any presidential or vice presidential nominee who has been disqualified pursuant to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”

The Colorado Supreme Court decided in a split vote that the former president was not eligible for the ballot due to a clause in the 14th Amendment. The court cited the ‘insurrection’ clause, which states that anyone who engaged in “insurrection” could not serve as a federal official.

Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows cited a similar argument in her decision to boot Trump from that state’s primary election ballot, pending a court appeal. Bellows is currently petitioning the state’s Supreme Judicial Court to weigh in on the topic.

“This appeal ensures that Maine’s highest court has the opportunity to weigh in now, before ballots are counted, promoting trust in our free, safe and secure elections,” Bellows said.