California secretary of state declines to remove Donald Trump from presidential primary ballot

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CBS News Los Angeles Live

California’s secretary of state declined to remove Donald Trump from the presidential primary ballot following demands from her lieutenant governor. 

Dr. Shirley Weber’s office did not immediately issue a comment on her decision to include Trump after releasing the list of certified candidates on Thursday night. 

Last week, Weber issued a tepid response to Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis’ open letter. She did not indicate if she would fulfill Kounalakis’s request and said her decision would be guided by her office’s “commitment to and respect for the rule of law.”

“Removing a candidate from the ballot under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment is not something my office takes lightly and is not as simple as the requirement that a person be at least 35 years old to be president,” Dr. Shirley Weber wrote.

Some top democrats in California joined Kounalakis’ demands to remove Trump from the ballot, however, Gov. Gavin Newsom publicly opposed the move, saying he should be defeated at the polls.

Former President Trump Holds Rally In Waterloo, Iowa
Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump gestures as he wraps up a campaign event on Dec. 19, 2023 in Waterloo, Iowa.  / Getty Images

The calls to strike the former president from the state’s ballot came after Colorado’s Supreme Court barred Trump from holding office, claiming he violated the “insurrection clause,” a Civil War-era constitutional provision. 

Maine’s secretary of state followed Colorado’s footsteps on Thursday.

“The U.S. Constitution does not tolerate an assault on the foundations of our government, and Section 336 requires me to act in response,” Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, wrote in her decision.

“Given the compressed timeframe, the novel constitutional questions involved, the importance of this case, and impending ballot preparation deadlines, I will suspend the effect of my decision until the Superior Court rules on any appeal, or the time to appeal…has expired,” Bellows added.

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California secretary of state declines to remove Donald Trump from presidential primary ballot

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