Former GOP presidential candidate Larry Elder blasted rulings removing former President Trump from state primary ballots Thursday, predicting the precedent will “set the country on fire.”
Elder, a conservative radio host who had a short-lived 2024 presidential campaign, predicted that Thursday’s decision in Maine and last week’s in Colorado to bar Trump from the respective state ballots will not stand.
“In my opinion, the Supreme Court is going to rule 9-0 that this so-called ‘insurrection clause’ ought not prevent Donald Trump from being on the ballot,” he said in a Fox News interview, referring to the 14th Amendment. “It’s ridiculous, absolutely absurd.”
“[Trump has] never been charged with insurrection, let alone convicted of it,” he continued. “I thought they’d at least wait for him to be charged, but they didn’t even do that. This will be smacked down pretty severely by the Supreme Court at some point.”
Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) decided Thursday that Trump should not be on the state’s ballot, a move which has come under fire from GOP candidates, and members of Maine’s congressional delegation.
In her 34-page decision, Bellows said that her determination was limited to Maine’s election laws, and not reliant on court decisions about Trump’s conduct.
“The oath I swore to uphold the Constitution comes first above all, and my duty under Maine’s election laws, when presented with a Section 336 challenge, is to ensure that candidates who appear on the primary ballot are qualified for the office they seek,” she wrote.
The 14th Amendment bars those who have “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. Bellows and the Colorado court said Trump’s actions surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riots qualify under that clause.
Bellows said Trump “used a false narrative of election fraud to inflame his supporters” on Jan. 6 and “was aware of the likelihood for violence and at least initially supported its use given he both encouraged it with incendiary rhetoric and took no timely action to stop it.”
The Trump campaign also criticized the decision, and pledged to appeal it.
“We are witnessing, in real-time, the attempted theft of an election and the disenfranchisement of the American voter,” Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said. “Make no mistake, these partisan election interference efforts are a hostile assault on American democracy.”
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