California State Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) is leading a group of Democrats in asking California Attorney General Rob Bonta to ask a court to boot former President Donald Trump from the 2024 primary ballot.
The effort is based on a long-shot theory, embraced by Democrats and Never Trump Republicans, that Trump can be barred from public office based on Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which applies to those who “shall have engaged in insurrection” against the U.S. But the language of the amendment does not clearly apply to the president, and many rioters at the Capitol believed they were trying to uphold the Constitution, not rebel 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.
Politico reported Monday:
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, a Democrat, is currently in the headlines for suing the Chino Valley school district for adopting a parental notification policy for children who want to change their gender — a policy that 84% of California voters support.
The prospect of Trump wining California, after President Joe Biden won it by a nearly two-to-one margin in 2020, is small. However, California Democrats want to leave nothing to chance, and to set an example for other states.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.