A group of state legislators in California are seeking intervention from the state’s Attorney General Rob Bonta on the question of Donald Trump’s eligibility to serve as president, an issue that has also in general been applied to whether he’s eligible to appear on primary and general election ballots.
Concerns center on the provisions of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that block individuals who, having previously taken an oath to defend that guiding document, engaged in some manner in insurrection. The tie to Trump, of course, is January 6. Participants in that day’s events have repeatedly tied their actions back to the former president, and he’s charged for his allegedly criminal election meddling attempts that preceded the day’s violence. Now, these California legislators are hoping that Bonta will, in a power associated with his position, seek a swift answer from the state’s court system, though the dispute could move from there to federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bonta’s team indicated so far an open but inconclusive approach. “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,” their statement added, per a report from POLITICO. The legislators seeking what they hope would be Trump’s removal are targeting their efforts to the timing of the state’s presidential primary. Since California has so many nominating convention delegates to offer whoever proves victorious, Trump missing out on the contest could enact a significant dent on his campaign, though he remains generally in the lead in Republican primary polling.
California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, meanwhile, has also proven open to the idea of blocking Trump, mirroring Democrats in other states in similar roles. Evan Low, a Democratic California legislator responsible for the push asking for Bonta’s intervention, expressed concerns about the quickly approaching deadline for finalizing eligible candidate lists for the state’s primary. Elsewhere, lawsuits have been filed directly challenging Trump’s eligibility in states including Colorado and Minnesota, though there have been only limited conclusions reached so far, with most proceedings still new.