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DeSantis condemns ‘Pandora’s Box’ of barring Trump from Maine ballot

By Jake Beardslee · December 29, 2023

In brief…

  • DeSantis blasted Maine decision to bar Trump from ballot as unconstitutional
  • He called it a "Pandora's Box" that defied due process precedents
  • DeSantis said Trump legal issues will stay in focus but GOP should highlight Biden policies
  • Maine became second state after Colorado to keep Trump off ballot over January 6
Florida's DeSantis criticized the Maine decision to keep Trump off the 2024 ballot as an unconstitutional "Pandora's Box" but said Trump's legal troubles will remain a focus during the election.  Office of the Governor of Florida/Wikimedia

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized the decision to remove former President Donald Trump from Maine’s 2024 primary ballot as unconstitutional. DeSantis, in an interview with Fox News, called the move by Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, to invoke the 14th Amendment to bar Trump a “Pandora’s Box” that turned “on its head every notion of constitutional due process.” He suggested Republican secretaries of state could try to disqualify President Biden over the border crisis in response.

While expecting the Supreme Court will overturn it, DeSantis said Trump’s legal issues will remain in focus during the election. “I think that we win when we hold Biden accountable and talk about the issues that matter to the American people,” DeSantis said, arguing Democrats want the election to be about Trump.

Maine became the second state after Colorado to keep Trump off the ballot for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot. Bellows said Trump “used a false narrative of election fraud to inflame his supporters and direct them to the Capitol to prevent certification.”