CA Secretary of State Refuses to Remove Trump from Ballot

( – In a move opposite of the Maine Secretary of State and contrary to the Golden State’s lieutenant governor, the Secretary of State of California rejected requests to try to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the state’s primary ballot for the 2024 presidential election.

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber published a list of primary candidates on Thursday, Dec. 28, which included Trump, confirming that the former president will appear on the state’s ballot.

The news comes in the wake of a request the week prior by Lieutenant Gov. Eleni Kounalakis to consider “every legal option” available to disqualify Trump from the ballot based on an alleged violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s insurrection clause. Kounalakis made the request the day after Trump was kicked off the Colorado primary ballot, a decision that has since been temporarily halted by the US Supreme Court after Republicans challenged it.

In a response to the letter by Kounalakis, Weber said that her office has received multiple lawsuits about the former president’s appearance on the California ballot, and that while they “agree that the attack on the Capitol” and Trump’s “involvement was abhorrent,” the “legal issues surrounding” the matter were “complex.” Weber said that her office doesn’t take such decisions lightly and that they plan on continuing “to assess” the available options, including any actions the US Supreme Court may decide to take.

Although he’s admittedly not a fan and criticized Trump in the same breath, California Gov. Gavin Newsom took the opposite stance from his lieutenant governor and defended the former president’s right to appear on his state’s ballot. Newsom described Trump as “a threat” to American liberties, yet maintained that attempts to remove Trump are most likely a “political distraction” and said the former president should be defeated fairly at the polls.

A week after the ruling in Colorado, the Secretary of State of Maine decided that Trump was ineligible to appear on the Centennial State’s primary election ballot. Similar proposals are currently pending in other states, raising concerns by lawmakers that the efforts could split the country even more than it already is.

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