Despite enduring pressure to remove him, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber has decided to include former President Donald Trump on the state’s primary ballot. Weber stated in an interview with The Los Angeles Times that she feels obligated to adhere to the rule of law and allow Trump to be on the ballot, despite the fact that she finds his actions “abhorrent, disturbing, and an assault on democracy.”
Following an exhaustive investigation by her office, in collaboration with other state and local officials, Weber reached a conclusion regarding the legality of removing Trump from the ballot. In the end, it was determined that her authority to do so is not granted by the state constitution.
In a letter dated December 20, lieutenant governor Eleni Kounalakis urged Weber to “explore every legal option to remove former president Donald Trump from California’s 2024 presidential primary ballot.” This decision to “follow the rule of law” was in response to that letter. Weber, in his reply, underscored the criticality of prioritizing the “sanctity” of democratic elections over “partisan politics.”
In agreement with Weber, Governor Gavin Newsom maintained that candidates ought to be defeated in the electoral process and not by any other methods. While acknowledging the threat posed by Trump, he placed significant emphasis on the criticality of democratic processes.
In contrast to Weber’s action, Maine Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows opted to exclude Trump from the presidential primary ballot in Maine, invoking the insurrection clause as her justification. There is anticipation that Trump will file an appeal of this decision.
In addition, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump is ineligible to run for president under the insurrection clause of the Constitution. The Republican Party of Colorado, on the other hand, filed an appeal of the ruling, which halted the court’s decision and reinstated Trump to the ballot.
The definitive determination regarding these ballot issues is expected to be rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court, thereby emphasizing the continuous legal and political discussions pertaining to Trump’s suitability for future office.