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Trump Challenges Maine’s Primary Blockade

The 2020 election season is shaping up to be an interesting one, as President Donald Trump has appealed a decision by Maine officials to keep him off the primary ballot in March. The decision to deny Trump a spot on the ballot was made by the Maine Secretary of State, who cited rules that require presidential primary candidates to be affiliated with a recognized political party. Trump had tried to get on the Maine ballot as an independent, but the state accepted the Republican Party’s nomination of Trump and rejected his independent petition. Trump is now appealing that decision in the U.S. District Court of Maine, arguing that the state’s decision to bar him from the ballot violates both the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. Trump’s legal team has argued that the state’s action “violates the associational rights of the president and his supporters.” In particular, the team is arguing that, because Trump is the incumbent president, he has a “reasonable expectation” of being allowed to appear on the primary ballot, and the state’s decision places “unreasonable and unconstitutional limitations” on his campaign. The legal challenge comes after numerous other similar efforts by the Trump campaign to challenge election laws in various states. These efforts have largely been in response to states’ efforts to impose restrictions on voting during the pandemic, such as requiring mail-in ballots and extending the deadline for voter registration. While it’s unclear how this latest legal challenge will play out, it’s clear that the Trump campaign is actively seeking to challenge laws it believes could be detrimental to the president’s re-election effort. With the November election just months away, the Trump campaign’s continued legal activity will be worth watching.