Newsom Criticizes Effort To Keep Trump Off Ballot

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) criticized his state’s effort to remove former President Donald Trump from the ballot this week, reflecting a possible break with other leaders of the Democratic Party. The comments also come less than a week after the Colorado Supreme Court removed Trump from that state’s Republican primary ballot, citing a clause in the 14th Amendment.

Newsom said “in California, we defeat candidates at the polls.” He called efforts to remove Trump from the ballot a “political distraction.”

Despite backing Trump’s ability to reach the ballot, the California governor called him a “threat to our liberties and even to our democracy.”

Currently, California Lt. Gov. Elini Kounalakis (D) is seeking the removal of Trump from her state’s ballot following the Colorado decision. She wrote to California Secretary of State Shirley Weber (R), requesting her to “explore every legal option to remove former President Donald Trump” from the state’s primary ballot.

“This decision is about honoring the rule of law in our country and protecting the fundamental pillars of our democracy,” the request continued.

Following the Colorado decision, a number of Democratic Party-dominated states have attempted to remove Trump from voting consideration.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled last week that the former president was not eligible to appear due to the insurrection clause of the amendment. The 4-3 decision will almost certainly land in the United States Supreme Court.

The majority opinion wrote that “it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Secretary to list him as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot.”

The majority also wrote that they recognized they “travel in uncharted territory, and that this case presents several issues of first impression.”

The court argued that the president’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021 protests at the U.S. Capitol represented an ‘insurrection,’ which triggered the provision in the 14th Amendment.

The part of the constitution declares that no individual who engaged in an insurrection against the United States can hold a position of federal trust, although it does not mention the position of president specifically.