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California Using Different Approach to Keep Trump Off the March 5 Primary Ballot

California Using Different Approach to Keep Trump Off the March 5 Primary Ballot

“The move, which comes amid several lawsuits to keep Trump off state ballots across the country, is unique because [AG Rob] Bonta could use his standing as California’s top law enforcement officer to expedite a state court ruling on the matter.”

California and other states have tried to keep President Donald Trump off the primary and presidential ballot.

Lawmakers told Attorney General Rob Bonta that the state cannot put Trump on the ballot “for inciting an insurrection” on January 6.

The lawmakers wrote: “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.”

Commiefornia is desperate to keep Trump off the ballot:

The move, which comes amid several lawsuits to keep Trump off state ballots across the country, 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.

Bonta would also be the country’s first state attorney general to take a swing at knocking Trump off the ballot. The other cases rely on secretaries of state.

Bonta’s spokesperson told Politico: “There is no denying that Donald Trump has engaged in behavior that is unacceptable and unbecoming of any leader — let alone a President of the United States.”

California claims Trump violated the 14th Amendment, Section 3:

Section 3

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

How can you tell the Founders didn’t write the 14th Amendment? Section 3. Our independence from Britain didn’t happen in a peaceful manner.

Britannica defines insurrection as “an organized and usually violent act of revolt or rebellion against an established government.” Key words: organized and usually violent.

The Capitol Hill Riot was not organized. It was not violent. One person died, and a Capitol Hill policeman killed her.

So, going by the insurrection definition, does that mean Hillary Clinton and her cronies can never run for office? They tried to overturn the 2016 election.

The Democrats had two bullcrap impeachment inquiries and trials against Trump.

Why are all of them still in office? That’s a rhetorical question.


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To protect democracy, people must not be allowed to choose their president!

    Milhouse in reply to Ann in L.A.. | September 19, 2023 at 8:16 pm

    That’s not a good argument, because that is the case with any qualification. What if the people want a 34-year-old, or a foreigner? Is it democratic to deny them that choice? No, it isn’t, but the constitution’s framers decided to do that anyway. In the same way, the 14th’s framers decided to deny the people of a state or district the democratic right to choose a former insurrectionist as their senator, representative, or elector.

    So if they had specified president as well, the argument from democracy would not be valid. Insurrectionists (of which Trump is not one) would be disqualified from the presidency. But they didn’t. They had the option and they chose not to. So even if Trump were an insurrectionist he’d still be eligible for the presidency.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | September 21, 2023 at 4:25 pm

      The problem is that even if the 14th Amendment applied to presidents, Trump has not been found guilty of rebellion or insurrection in a court of law. Keeping him off the ballot by merely espousing his guilt, no matter how correct the claim might be, would deprive Trump of the due process of law (a judicial process, per SCOTUS) guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment, which, to my knowledge, the 14th Amendment does not suspend, even when someone is accused of rebellion or insurrection.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Ann in L.A.. | September 20, 2023 at 6:08 pm

    I still ask what democracy is being referred to? This is a republic, not a democracy.

Section 3 never mentions the President. Only the Electors.

    It also doesn’t mention the Vice-President in the same way. In addition “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” does not say “shall be accused of insurrection or rebellion” which is what we have now. If this is sufficient, I hereby accuse every Dem candidate for the Presidency of insurrection. There, fixed it.

    We live in a country of laws, unless the State AG decides that an accusation is sufficient to overrule that pesky “Innocent until proven guilty” thing that always stands in their way.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to georgfelis. | September 19, 2023 at 5:37 pm

      We lived in a country of laws and the Constitution. The issue is in doubt now. Just for feces and rictus’s, what is the legitimacy of a government that keeps it’s opponents off of the ballot?

      Subotai Bahadur

      Milhouse in reply to georgfelis. | September 19, 2023 at 8:19 pm

      Yes, but if those in charge of the ballot decide that he has not only been accused of insurrection but did actually engage in it, then it would be their task to keep him off any ballot for senator, representative, or elector. No conviction in court would be necessary; by the amendment’s text he’d be automatically ineligible. It would be up to him to sue to get restored to the ballot.

      But since the presidency isn’t one of the offices for which an insurrectionist is ineligible, and that’s the only office he’s running for, the issue shouldn’t even arise.

        “those in charge of the ballot”, #1, don’t get to decide guilt or innocence of insurrection or treason, they don’t have that authority or power, and #2, it doesn’t strike you as anti democracy for Democrats to be able to veto who another political party can allow on their primaries?

        “Those in charge of the ballot”, at least for primaries, are and should be the political parties running the primaries. These sort of shenanigans are what a dictatorship that wants to run a fake election does. “OK, you can run who you want for govt office – as long as we get to choose who can run in opposition to our guys. That’s fair and free elections, right?”.

          Milhouse in reply to BobM. | September 20, 2023 at 11:11 pm

          1. They’re not deciding “guilt” or “innocence”, they are deciding qualification to appear on the ballot.

          2. The parties should run their own primaries, and then they can do it however they like. They can let 5-year-olds on the ballot if they like, but if one gets nominated he won’t be on the ballot in November. But so long as the state is running the primary, it gets to decide the rules, and can keep 5-year-olds off the ballot. And insurrectionists, if it’s an office for which they are ineligible. But if the excluded candidate disagrees with the decision he can sue to be restored to the ballot.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | September 21, 2023 at 4:36 pm

        Guilt for those crimes is not a fact in evidence. It’s a political judgment, an opinion, and/or a belief. Did the 14th Amendment suspend due process of law while I wasn’t looking?

        We know with absolute certainty that Hillary Clinton committed a variety of crimes with the way she handled classified material. James Comey, far from “exonerating” her, read a laundry-list of laws she broke/crimes she committed. Many people believed her guilty. Should she have been sent directly to prison?

        The point is that neither opinion (not even when held by the majority) nor belief qualifies in this country as proof of criminality. And this is no more certainly so when it comes to matters of law contemplated with regard to the very same document that guarantees a person’s right to due process of law.

        Or do Trump’s opponents get to ignore the Constitution in order to protect it?
        (If that reminds you of “We had to destroy the village in order to save it,” it was meant to.)

    “or hold any office”

      Milhouse in reply to MarkS. | September 19, 2023 at 8:12 pm

      Office under the united states. That is a term of art that means only appointed office, not elected office That’s why it specifies senator, representative, or elector, in addition to “any office under the united states”, because those are not offices under the united states either, but insurrectionists are disqualified from them too. The absence of “president or vice president” is therefore glaring, and shows that it is not included.

      The reason should be obvious: the people of a rebel state might very easily choose a rebel as their senator, representative, or elector, and the framers of this amendment wanted to prevent that. They were telling the voters in those states, sorry, you can’t have those people to represent you no matter how much you want them. That was the whole point of this section, after all. But the president is not elected by one state but by the electors representing the whole nation. If they decide they want a former insurrectionist as president, the 14th’s framers didn’t want to deny them that choice.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | September 21, 2023 at 4:37 pm

        I do agree with your 1st paragraph analysis here. In fact, it’s the clearest explanation I’ve seen with respect to this argument.

Oh the horror

They are trying everything before they put him in prison or his plane had an accident

Write him in lol

    Milhouse in reply to SeymourButz. | September 19, 2023 at 8:20 pm

    You can’t write in presidential candidates. You’re electing electors, not a president, so you’d have to write their names in, and you don’t know who they are.

HA HA. No. That’s not how it works CA weirdos. Like many people these days the folks pushing this idea have a little bit of info but not a comprehensive understanding of the entire range of info applicable yet try to shoe horn in their BS idea b/c their ideology demands it. A little knowledge truly is a dangerous thing indeed.

    Milhouse in reply to CommoChief. | September 19, 2023 at 8:21 pm

    Actually I think that is how it works. I think they’re right on the procedure. But they’re wrong on the substance.

      CommoChief in reply to Milhouse. | September 20, 2023 at 12:37 pm

      Disagree. A State govt ignoring the basic Constitutional qualifications of office listed in Art II and then compounding the error by seeking to usurp the power and authority specifically granted (and thus reserved) to Congress as a whole in Sec V to enforce the ‘disability provisions’ of the 14th Amendment isn’t the right track at all.

        Milhouse in reply to CommoChief. | September 20, 2023 at 11:19 pm

        I think the better argument is that the disqualification is self-executing, just like the qualifications in Articles I and II. An insurrectionist is disqualified from congress (but not the presidency), so each board of elections has the duty of keeping those it believes to be insurrectionists off congressional ballots, just as it must keep 20-year-olds off. And just as someone removed for being underage can sue to be restored, so can someone removed for being an insurrectionist.

        But in this case there are four distinct reasons Trump is eligible:
        1. The 6-Jan-2021 riot was not an insurrection
        2. Even if it were, he didn’t participate in it.
        3. Even if he had, the presidency is not one of the offices insurrectionists are banned from.
        4. Even if it were, Congress exercised its authority to remove insurrectionists’ disqualification, and it did so without reference to when the insurrection took place.

          CommoChief in reply to Milhouse. | September 21, 2023 at 8:32 am

          Indeed. Which is back to my original point that this isn’t how it works. The Amnesty Act of 1872 was incredibly broad and didn’t specify a limiting principle. We could infer one but we can’t specifically ID it in the Act.

          DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | September 21, 2023 at 4:46 pm

          Does not a murderer, by the act of murdering someone, self-qualify for imprisonment or death? But we don’t summarily imprison or execute a suspect. We have a trial, and punish the (former) suspect only when found guilty. Until a guilty verdict is rendered, a person is innocent of an accusation as a matter of law. Why would you think this doesn’t apply to accusation of rebellion and insurrection? Where in the Constitution does it say the right to due process is suspended in certain considerations (disbarment from office) with respect to those two particular crimes?

          Trump, at worst, is an accused insurrectionist and rebel, a “suspect,” not a criminal.

The progressive are going to force the USSC to make a ruling on 14A/3. The USSC will rule, correctly, that 14A/3 doesn’t apply here because there was no insurrection, and Trump didn’t lead an insurrection, and that 14A/3 was aimed at managing the aftermath of the Civil War (so said Congress).

Then the progressives will use that adverse ruling to go after the USSC. Again.

    Your first two points are correct, but I don’t think your third point is relevant. It doesn’t matter what it was aimed at. The text of the amendment is what governs, so if it had said that Trump is ineligible then he’d be ineligible. But it doesn’t, so he isn’t.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | September 21, 2023 at 4:49 pm

      Agreed. The point was not just to address the post-war situation, but to discourage others in the future from similar insurrectionist and rebellious acts.

President Xi has obviously been a huge inspiration to the California legislature. They should give him more credit.

“… the state cannot put Trump on the ballot “for inciting an insurrection” on January 6.”

Correct. Because it was a mostly peaceful protest.

In June Venezuelan President Maduro disqualified his opponent, Maria Corina Machado from running for office. Our own Voice of America ran an editorial lamenting this:

“ The decision to disqualify Maria Corina Machado from participating in the electoral process deprives the Venezuelan people of basic political rights,” declared State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller in a statement. “Venezuelans deserve the right to select a candidate to participate in presidential elections in 2024 without interference.””

Substitute Trump for Machado and “Americans” for Venezuelans, and it pretty much fits.

Their fear is palpable, and they’re letting you know precisely of whom they are afraid.

Seems to me that they would need a conviction for Insurrection in order to be able to use such an idea. Otherwise it’s not legally proven

    nordic prince in reply to Ironclaw. | September 19, 2023 at 3:34 pm

    Well, it’s not like the Ds need legal proof, TBH.

    Why do you think they’re trying him in Georgia?

    Milhouse in reply to Ironclaw. | September 19, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    No, I don’t think you’re correct. If he had engaged in insurrection, and he were running for an office for which insurrectionists are ineligible, and congress had not already passed the Amnesty act, then no conviction would be necessary to remove him from the ballot. All it would take would be a factual determination by the authority in charge of the ballot (which in most states is the county board of elections) that he should not be on it. It would then be up to him to sue to be restored.

    But since all of those hypotheticals are not true, the issue doesn’t arise.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | September 21, 2023 at 5:01 pm

      In many states, a felon-in-fact disqualifies himself from voting. So can his name be removed from the voter roles before he’s convicted in a court of law, so long as the authorities responsible for voter registrations believe the individual is guilty?

      Until there’s a finding by a jury, guilt for a crime is a fact not in evidence. In any of these 14th Amendment cases against Trump, his attorneys should demand the state produce proof of Trump’s guilt – i.e. documentation verifying his conviction for rebellion and insurrection. (Statements made by Trump and others, videos of his speech and the J6 riot, etc., may be “evidence,” but none of that is “proof.”) Otherwise the states’ attorneys can pound sand. They can’t claim someone is a criminal based on “common knowledge” or consensus. That doesn’t (or at least, shouldn’t) fly in a court of law.

“There is no denying that Donald Trump has engaged in behavior that is unacceptable and unbecoming of any leader — let alone a President of the United States.”
Except that that is required to be left to the voters.

So, if you’re going to deny the people their constitutional right, doesn’t that make you in violation of the 14th Amendment? You took an oath, right?

You know, using basic (meaning too hard for journalists) English grammar, I could make a plausible claim that the insurrection the amendment mentions is against the Constitution OR the actual United States.

Which means that the governor of New Mexico (hey, they got a restraining order because any lawsuit was very likely to show her order was unconstitutional) should be removed from office and never allowed to be in an elected position above the municipal level, right? Right?

Their rules.

    DaveGinOly in reply to GWB. | September 21, 2023 at 5:03 pm

    I recall there was a time, not long ago (during the Trump administration) in which the Dems were declaring the violation of one’s oath of office is an impeachable offense, an opinion with which I not only heartily agree, but one that I have been expounding for decades.

Just how is keeping anybody off the ballot “an act to save democracy” ?

A correction, four people died, all murdered by the police. Ashli Babbitt was shot to death, Benjamin Phillips and Kevin Gresson died of heart attacks when police threw a flash bang grenade into their midst, and Rosanne Boyland was beaten to death by the police

Alexander Scipio | September 19, 2023 at 5:26 pm

This is a non-issue. He wouldn’t win CA anyway. What it might do is enrage Indies and some Rs in other States to vote Trump.

Trump never called for anything but a “peaceful protest” and there was an area previously selected from the city/federal for protest. Some people left from Trump’s speech and went to the area while Trump was still speaking and the Metro Police fired gas bang grenades into them. Trump and these people are not Insurrectionists. The attempt to keep Trump off any ballot is wrong and shows how bad the Dems and UNIPARTY are. The same with RFK, JR.

So conviction before a trial works in California.
Been there but will never go near the place ever again.

“How can you tell the Founders didn’t write the 14th Amendment? Section 3. Our independence from Britain did happen in a peaceful manner.”
I can’t parse this. Did you mean “didn’t?”

    Mary Chastain in reply to henrybowman. | September 19, 2023 at 7:56 pm

    Yes! Thank you!

    Milhouse in reply to henrybowman. | September 19, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    The point is still incorrect, though. The founders could easily have written such a clause themselves. As a matter of history they didn’t, but the fact that they had engaged in a rebellion against the United Kingdom would not have prevented them from disqualifying from office anyone who rebels against the united states. They did put in other clauses against rebellion and insurrection, just not this one.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office,….

This is not complicated.

The language specifically EXCLUDES the President and Vice President.
It clearly enumerates Senator, Representative OR elector of the Pres. and VP.

It is clear the President is not included

The question is not if Trump can be on the ballot, but if his Electors can be kept off the ballot. After all, we do technically vote for the Electors and not for the President directly, and if the Electors had nothing to do with Jan. 6th, there would be no valid reason to keep them off.

Why does a state AG have standing, you didn’t explain.

We can conclude that 14A has the purpose of fixing things after the Civil War, and one of those is preventing those who joined the Confederacy in waging war against the Union to being elected to the Congress or appointed to any federal office. Note that Section 3 does NOT amend the qualifications clause for President and Vice President.

So how can a state enforce a federal law in the first place, never mind enforcing a law the federal government never claimed Trump violated?

The AG of California knows all that. What he is doing is trying to force this through a side door by using the logical fallacy of “Everyone Knows” or “Who can Deny?” in order to establish prima facie evidence Trump already has committed insurrection.

“No person shall be…President…who, having previously taken an oath…to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same…”

Arguably, Trump knew or suspected that the election had been stolen, conducted as it was in many States under rules and court orders that did not meet the standard set by the Constitution for lawful presidential elections (i.e., the elections were unlawfully conducted under rules other than those made by the States’ respective legislatures). Actions to halt the process of certifying and accepting the votes of electors unlawfully seated, is an act in defense of the Constitution, not an offense against it, and is therefore neither an insurrection nor a rebellion.

(i.e., the elections were unlawfully conducted under rules other than those made by the States’ respective legislatures).

Bingo! Tha’t the unlawful part.
The judiciary dodged, lied, avoided hearing any of the complaints brought before it.
It was too early, not ripe
It was too late, damage already done
the facts might be there, but the court decided they could not provide the relief sought, ie, invalidating the election.