California struggles to knock Trump off the ballot

A Dec. 28 deadline looms.

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The window is narrowing to try to knock former President Donald Trump off California’s March 5 primary ballot.

Democrats across the country have launched several long-shot challenges to Trump’s ballot status over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. But the deadline for California Secretary of State Shirley Weber to certify which presidential candidates will appear on the ballot is just a month away.

If Weber or the courts don’t act by Dec. 28, attempting to remove Trump could create major logistical challenges as the state prepares voter guides and other materials. Here are two potential scenarios to watch:

Could Weber act alone?

One big question looming over the push to remove Trump from the ballot is the question of who has the authority. Can the top elections officials in each state act unilaterally?

Democratic secretaries of state in pivotal swing states like Arizona and Michigan, have largely been skeptical about trying to exert that authority though. But some of their counterparts have made efforts to remove Trump around the theory that secretaries of states can unilaterally disqualify him on constitutional grounds.

Weber hasn’t taken a definitive stance.

Her office has repeatedly said she is reviewing the issue. “Right now, we’re monitoring the legal cases here and in other states,” Joe Kocurek, Weber’s press secretary, told POLITICO.

California is one of several states where Democrats have attempted to disqualify Trump on the basis that he incited an insurrection when a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol nearly three years ago. If Trump prevails and becomes the Republican nominee, Democrats could try again on the November ballot.

Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung previously told POLITICO that the campaign to remove the former president from the ballot was a “political attack” that was “stretching the law beyond recognition.” Any effort to remove Trump here would surely be challenged in court.

All of the efforts could ultimately be moot because of the conservative control of the U.S. Supreme Court.

What about the court route?

Lawsuits have been filed in about a half-dozen states, California included, aiming to force secretaries of state to remove Trump from primary ballots. The Colorado Supreme Court recently agreed to hear an appeal to a lower court ruling on the issue. The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a similar lawsuit this month.

But that might not be the only route: Eleven Democrats in the California Assembly, led by Assemblymember Evan Low, sent state Attorney General Rob Bonta a letter last month urging him to use his authority to seek an expedited state court ruling.

Low said lawmakers are still urging Bonta to act because Trump “continues to be a clear and present danger to free and fair elections in the United States.”

The approach that Low and his co-signers have pitched is unique because Bonta could expedite the court process. As California’s top lawyer, he has automatic standing to proactively ask a court for declaratory relief, a process where a judge can quickly rule on an unresolved legal question.

Lawsuits seeking to knock Trump off the ballot have also been filed in New Mexico and New Hampshire.

Bonta hasn’t publicly responded to the lawmakers’ request. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking.

Rick Hasen, director of the Safeguarding Democracy Project at UCLA’s School of Law, said that if the issue isn’t resolved by the courts now it could easily come back after the primary.

Click here to read the full article in Politico

Comments

  1. Joan Rawlings says

    Don’t we still have a write in candidate space?

  2. So basically my vote would be taken away. The courts or an bureaucrat would decide in the future who is elected if this is allowed. It’s not about the law or ethics or “the people”, but power and control. It’s frightening

    • It’s in the Construction. The Constitution frightens you, I suppose. A person does not have an absolute right to run for office. The 14th Amendment disqualifies those who rebel against the Constitution, which Trump and his zombies did. Trump should have been disqualified by the Senate after J6 three years ago already.

  3. On or Off the ballot TRUMP will be the only choice for anyone who wants to HAVE A CHOICE going forward in this state/country. Otherwise a very lot of the failed same thing, and more freedom lost. Looks like if they are successful, Welcome to serfdom!

  4. Robin Itzler - Patriot Neighbors says

    Agree with Rocco. Everyone I know is voting for Trump no matter where he is (out on the campaign trail or sitting in a prison cell). If they must write in his name, they will. However, in California, write-ins are allowed in the primary, but not the general election. So, if Donald Trump was not on the ballot and voters wrote “Donald Trump – President” in November 2024 that would invalidate the entire ballot.

    Makes you wonder if THAT is the real reason behind the desire by some California leftists to remove Trump’s name. They know many Trump supporters would write in Trump’s name and thus invalidate the entire ballot (along with their votes for Republican candidates on school boards, city councils, in the senate and house).

  5. Communism is so ‘crafty’, isn’t it??

  6. It. Doesn’t matter if Trump is on the ballot or not. The crazy dumbocrats will win the state anyhow either by other idiots voting for them or by outright fraud.

  7. Opine a deliberate candidate exclusion, election interference with weaponized judicial jujitsu (like a carnival bean bag toss), depriving voter rights with disenfranchisement, ‘surreptitious’ ballot harvesting, ad nauseam = authoritarian control morphing into a totalitarian super-majority one-party state (nation?) = The LAST FREE Election?!

  8. I know we still are able to have Trump as a ‘write in’, however, with all the communist fascist racist satanic KKK democrat voter fraud for the last 60 years, they don’t even count the REAL votes on the ballets anymore. All the write in’s they’ll probably just chuck right into the round file without even looking at “em!!! Votes don’t count……he who counts the votes does. We really need to STAY at the polls, especially when they close down and WATCH these pieces of garbage……all night if necessary!!

  9. Treva Bennett says

    You’re right about the ballots. They should have our eyes on them continually. No exception. Volunteers needed. 👀 it’s a scary time. Keep your support of Trump no matter what. Show up at the polls. Don’t sit this one out whatever you do!

  10. Who were the other legislators, beside Even Low, that signed the letter to AG Bonzo Bonta? Voters need to know the names of the Commie Dems trying to disenfranchise them.

  11. This is a one-party state, even though I vote every year, they toss my vote every year. Let’s write in Kennedy just to shut them up and steal a vote from comatose Joe and Cameltoe Harris.

  12. Not sure why disqualifying Trump would be called a “long shot”, unless you are talking about missing the deadline for the primary. A court in Colorado has already ruled that he incited an insurrection against the Constitution. But the judge irrationally ruled that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment did not apply to the CINC. This is considered by the Colorado Supreme Court and would seem likely to be overruled in the near future. It seems obvious that Trump should be disqualified. It should have been done three years ago by Congress,

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