Democrats in the state are running into trouble but are taking multiple routes to remove Trump from the ballot. The primary route is lawsuits aiming to force State Secretary Shirley Weber to remove the former president from the ballot on the grounds that he incited an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, a plan that has been tried in several other states. Democrats in the state are asking the attorney general to use his authority to seek an expedited state court ruling after a judge in Colorado recently refused to remove the former president from the ballot, Politico reported.
Eleven Democrats in the California Assembly sent California Attorney General Rob Bonta a letter last month making the demand. Assemblyman Evan Low, who represents Silicon Valley, led the effort.
“My colleagues and I are asking our Attorney General to proactively seek the opinion of the court to determine if Donald J. Trump is or is not eligible to appear on the ballot,” the letter read.
“On January 6, 2021, Americans witnessed Donald Trump order his army of supporters to the United States Capitol and multiple courts have already declared the events of that day an insurrection,” it continued. “Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is clear that no person who has taken the oath of office and engaged in insurrection against the United States can hold public office. Whatever the courts decide it is important that they do so quickly to avoid further political strife, and the Attorney General is uniquely positioned to get the American people the answers we need to protect our Republic.”
Bonta hasn’t publicly responded to the letter. The primary is on March 5, and a decision must be made before Dec. 28 or logistical challenges will ensue.
If those efforts fail, another potential avenue presents itself after the primary: If Democrats take control of the House in 2024, they could refuse to certify a second Trump presidency.
“Whatever you think of it on the merits, the sooner this is resolved the better,” Rick Hasen, director of the Safeguarding Democracy Project at UCLA’s School of Law, told Politico. “It creates a potential for social upheaval.”
Trump spokesman Steven Cheung has previously denounced efforts to remove Trump from the ballot as a “political attack” that was “stretching the law beyond recognition.”