Speaking of Impeachment Threats

There's one in Maine.

Via the AP: Maine secretary of state who opted to keep Trump off primary ballot is facing threat of impeachment.

Although, really, the threat is pretty anemic:

At least one Republican lawmaker has vowed to pursue impeachment against Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows despite long odds in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.


In Maine, state Rep. John Andrews, who sits on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, called the decision “hyper-partisanship on full display” as he pressed for an impeachment proceeding. He said he sent a notice to the state revisor’s office for a joint order to set the wheels in motion ahead of lawmakers’ return to Augusta next week.

“There is bipartisan opposition to the extreme decision made by the secretary of state. She has clearly overstepped her authority. It remains to be seen if her effort at voter suppression will garner enough Democrat support to remove her from her position,” said House Republican leader Billy Bob Faulkingham.

It is a small thing, to be sure, but whenever I read/hear Republicans use “Democrat” instead of “Democratic” it just makes me take whatever they are saying less seriously (and to be clear, I don’t take this “threat” especially seriously). The desire to play this ongoing petty insult game is just childish.

Again, while I think that SCOTUS is likely to overturn Colorado and Maine on this issue, I think that Secretary of State Bellows had every legal right to act as she did. See my post, The Maine Ruling, for details.

This does remind me to comment on something I meant to note in my post, Tit, Meet Tat, which is the following from the NBC piece reporting on Missouri’s Secretary of State possibly seeking to bar Biden from his state’s ballot:

The Maine case is slightly different than the one in Colorado. There, the Democratic secretary of state made the determination that Trump was ineligible for the ballot.

Ashcroft said he broadly didn’t believe secretaries should be involved in deciding who is on the ballot.

This is an example of the ongoing lazy reporting on this issue. It makes it sound like the Maine SoS acted capriciously and unilaterally without any due process. But as I note my post on the subject, there is a black letter legal role for the Maine SoS to make determinations about eligibility in light of voter challenges. There was a process, that included input from Trump’s lawyers. And, again I would note, they do not seek to defend him against the charge of insurrection, but instead play procedural games.

I originally was under the impression that the Maine SoS simply declared Trump ineligible, but that was because of reporting as I noted above.

Regardless, this is just another example of the feckless approach to impeachment that we are seeing at the present moment, which is part of the broader tit-for-tat cycle that we appear to be in.

FILED UNDER: 2024 Election, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Zachriel says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I think that Secretary of State Bellows had every legal right to act as she did.

    Not just a legal right, but a legal duty. Title 21-A §337: “the Secretary of State shall hold a public hearing on any challenge properly filed. . . The Secretary of State shall rule on the validity of any challenge” {emphasis added}. The law also allows judicial review and any decision.

    There was also another challenge, the “Gordon Challenge”, which petitioned for Trump to be invalidated under the 12th Amendment. The Secretary of State ruled against the challenge because, well, Trump lost the election in 2020.

  2. DrDaveT says:

    This is an example of the ongoing lazy reporting on this issue.

    “Lazy” is the most charitable available interpretation. Laziness is curable.

    As noted elsewhere, I think that the way the media — all media — have treated Trump and the rise of American fascism is a huge part of the story, and of the problem. And it will continue to be until some way is found to force those media to either tell the truth about what’s happening or fess up about their actual motives.

    I had hoped that all of the court pleas of “we’re not news, we’re entertainment” from Fox et al. would have opened the floodgates, but instead… crickets.

  3. Kingdaddy says:

    Over the course of decades of the “Democrat Party” slur, I’ve never heard any interviewer or moderator challenge it. I would have loved to hear one of them say, “I’m sorry, but let’s rewind. It’s not the Democrat Party, it’s the Democratic Party. You don’t get to rename them. Would you like me to refer to your affiliation as the Republic Party? Or the Repubs? Or the Pubes?” But no.

  4. gVOR10 says:

    @Kingdaddy: My local SW FL semi-pro newspaper, the Sun, showed up in these threads a day or two ago for the juxtaposition of two stories on the front page, a story about the GOP lege bill to make it easier for 17 year olds to buy guns and a story about a 17 year old shooting up a school. A couple years ago they used “Democrat Party” in a column. I wrote a polite letter to the editor, with quotes from WIKI, that this was incorrect, disrespectful, and focus group tested GOP messaging. They replied they didn’t know that (huh?) and they wouldn’t do it again. They refused to print the letter on the grounds they have a policy against letters criticizing local businesses and they’re a local business. Ah well, at least I haven’t caught them doing it again.

  5. Zachriel says:


    22nd amendment, of course.