California State Assemblymember Evan Low, a Democrat representing Silicon Valley, is spearheading an effort with fellow Democrats to request that California Attorney General Rob Bonta seek a court order to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 primary election ballot.
The effort relies on a somewhat unlikely idea, supported by both Democrats and Never Trump Republicans, that Trump could be disqualified from holding public office under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.
This section pertains to individuals who have “engaged in insurrection” against the United States. However, the wording of the amendment doesn’t explicitly pertain to the president, and a significant number of Capitol rioters believed they were acting to defend the Constitution rather than rebelling against it.
Moreover, Democratic officials in other states have declined to exclude Trump — notably Arizona’s secretary of state, who said state law prevents officials from barring Trump from the ballot under the Fourteenth Amendment.
As previously reported by Politico:
Nine California lawmakers wrote a letter to Attorney General Rob Bonta over the weekend, arguing that Trump isn’t eligible to be on the ballot for inciting an insurrection when a mob of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Bonta, as the attorney general, has automatic standing to proactively ask a court for declaratory relief, a process where a judge can quickly rule on an unresolved legal question. The lawmakers asked Bonta for “immediate intervention” on the issue.
Most efforts to remove Trump have focused on the theory that secretaries of state can unilaterally disqualify him on constitutional grounds. At least one lawsuit, brought by a voter, has already been filed in California calling on Secretary of State Shirley Weber to take action.
Bonta, who is a Democrat, is making waves in the news by filing a lawsuit against the Chino Valley school district over their implementation of a parental notification policy for children seeking to change their gender. It’s worth noting that this policy enjoys the support of 84% of California voters.
The chance of Trump winning in California, considering President Joe Biden’s almost two-to-one margin of victory in 2020, is minimal.
Nevertheless, California Democrats are committed to leaving nothing to luck and intend to set an example for other states.
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