Democratic legislators in California are in the process of trying to disqualify former President Donald Trump from appearing on the ballot in the upcoming 2024 presidential election. The Golden State is the latest in a series of efforts in other states trying to use Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to deem the former president ineligible for holding office.
While at least some of the previous efforts to stop Trump from seeking the presidency again have failed, Democrats in California seem undeterred.
Democrats in the California Legislature are trying a novel approach to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s March 5 primary ballot.
But first they need a fellow state Democrat to get on board the long-shot effort.
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.
The move, which comes amid several lawsuits to keep Trump off state ballots across the county, is unique because Bonta could use his standing as California’s top law enforcement officer to expedite a state court ruling on the matter. Should the effort succeed, California could be the first state to bump Trump off its ballot, even if the ruling is ultimately overturned.
California Democrats wrote a letter to the attorney general, asking him to take swift action to remove Trump from the ballot.
“We all watched in horror Mr. Trump’s insurrection against the United States when he ordered a mob of his supporters to the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 to intimidate Vice President Pence and the United States Congress,” the lawmakers state in the letter which was obtained by POLITICO.
Trump’s camp has vigorously spoken out against the effort to prevent him from running again. Steven Cheung, a Trump spokesperson, referred to the effort as a “political attack” and argued that “There is no legal basis for this effort except in the minds of those who are pushing it.”
The nationwide effort to influence the outcome of the 2024 election gained steam earlier this year as multiple Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans floated the idea. The objective is to use a provision in the 14th Amendment that prohibits those who have participated in a rebellion from holding elected office. It was originally intended for former Confederate officers after the conclusion of the Civil War. Trump opponents are attempting to argue that the former president’s supposed role in the J6 riot disqualifies him from holding office.
A similar effort in New Hampshire was rebuffed after its secretary of state affirmed that if Trump meets all the candidature requirements, his name will be included on the ballot. A federal judge in Florida dismissed a lawsuit with the same purpose, noting that the plaintiff “lacked standing.”
Trump allies argue that this effort is a political ploy intended to eliminate an opponent instead of allowing the people to choose who they want to send to the White House. So far, none of the attempts to disqualify the former president have shown signs that they might succeed.