The battle over former President Donald Trump's eligibility to appear on ballots in future elections continues, as California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis urges the state's Secretary of State to take action.
The latest development in this ongoing saga comes just a day after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump should be disqualified from appearing on the state's ballots in 2024. The court's unanimous decision cited Trump's role in inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol as the reason for his ineligibility.
In a letter addressed to California's Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Kounalakis cited the Colorado ruling and called on the state to "explore every legal option" to disqualify Trump from the future ballot. She argued that California has a duty to "stand on the right side of history" and uphold the rule of law in our democracy.
Kounalakis highlighted section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states that any individual who has engaged in insurrection against the government is ineligible to hold public office. She referenced the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling, which found that Trump's actions on Jan. 6 amounted to insurrection, as the basis for California's possible disqualification of the former president.
The Lieutenant Governor of California, Eleni Kounalakis, has written a letter to the California Secretary of State Shirley Weber and is urging her “𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐥𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐥 𝐨𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐫… pic.twitter.com/B5EVhuppIs
— RedWave Press (@RedWave_Press) December 20, 2023
The Lieutenant Governor maintained that this is not a political maneuver, but a matter of protecting our democracy and upholding the Constitution. She argued that "no person shall be above the law," even a former president, and urged the Secretary of State to carry out her "solemn duty" to apply the law without fear or favor.
Trump's potential disqualification is not unique to Colorado, as lawsuits are pending in 13 states including Texas, Nevada, and Wisconsin. These legal challenges stem from Trump's actions leading up to and on Jan. 6, including his repeated false claims of election fraud and his incendiary speech at the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the Capitol riot.
The final decision on Trump's eligibility to be on future ballots will ultimately be determined in the courts. However, the Colorado ruling could set a precedent for other states to follow in disqualifying the former president.
In response to the Colorado ruling, the state's Secretary of State Jena Griswold stated that she will continue to follow court guidance on this issue. With the stakes high and the implications far-reaching, all eyes will be on California and the 12 other states where Trump's eligibility is being contested.