Gov. Gavin Newsom gets into discussions about banning Donald Trump from the presidential race in California

(Associated Press)

Gov. Gavin Newsom gets into discussions about banning Donald Trump from the presidential race in California

James Rainey

Dec. 23, 2023

Many leading California Democrats have called for Donald Trump to be removed from the electoral ballot, but Governor Gavin Newsom has made it clear he opposes the measure.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a threat to our freedoms and even our democracy, Newsom said, but in California we are defeating candidates at the ballot box. Everything else is a political distraction.

Newsom’s brief statement Friday runs counter to Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and nine state lawmakers who have pushed to remove the former president from the California ballot. The campaign gained momentum this week when the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump was ineligible for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Ultimately, political opinions on Trump’s eligibility are expected to have little bearing on a new question of the law that will almost certainly have to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. likely to influence primary and general election votes across the country.

I think Newsom is showing that in a state dominated by Democrats, who could easily succumb to their party interests, he is the adult.

in the room, said Sara Sadhwani, a professor of political science at Pomona College and a sharp critic of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. We have institutions, the courts, to answer these questions. And political interference in elections does not lead to stability for our democratic institutions.

Jessica Levinson, a constitutional law professor at Loyola Law School, predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the Colorado court, with the justices likely reluctant to appear to be throwing the 2024 presidential election into disarray or giving their thumbs up laying the scale in the fight against the 2024 elections. 2024 presidential elections.

Levinson said


that does not mean


The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision was unreasonable, given the 14th Amendment’s provision that individuals could not qualify for office if, as an officer of the United States, they engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States or aided its enemies.

As a strictly legal question, Levinson said: If you give aid or comfort to those engaged in insurrection, in my opinion you are ineligible for the vote.

Trump’s disqualification from the Colorado ballot would not necessarily prevent him from returning to the presidency. He lost the state by 13 percentage points in 2020 and could find a path to 270 electoral votes without the state having 10 electoral votes. He also won the presidency in 2016 without California’s huge electoral fortune, which now stands at 54.

But the campaign to remove Trump from the ballot continues in many other states, prompting accusations from the candidate and other Republicans that Democrats are trying to rig the 2024 election.

In the swing state of Michigan, which Trump took over in 2016 and lost in 2020, some voters have tried to keep Trump off the ballot.




secretary of



Shenna Bellows

a Democrat, is considering arguments from both sides on whether Trump qualifies for the 2024 election.

California has elected Democrats as president in eight consecutive elections


since it went for Republican George HW Bush in 1988. Trump is trailing badly in early polls in California for the 2024 presidential election.

But several of the states’ top Democrats have said Trump should be disqualified from the March primary.

Lt. Gov. Eleni

Kounalakis, a Democrat running for governor in 2026, wrote to California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who oversees the election, asking her to explore every legal option to remove the former president from the March 5 ballot to prevent.

This decision is about honoring the rule of law in our country and protecting the fundamental pillars of democracy, Kounalakis wrote, citing the Colorado Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision.

Assemblyman Evan Low, who represents Silicon Valley, is leading a group of nine Democratic lawmakers who have asked state Atty. General Rob Bonta will remove Trump from the ballot. They say the action would force the courts to determine the former president’s eligibility.

No one is above the law, Low said in an interview last week, and the courts must uphold the Constitution. period of time. Point.

Jaime Regalado,




in political science at Cal State Los Angeles, viewed Newsom’s stance to keep Trump on the ballot as the governor’s latest attempt to differentiate himself from California’s liberal orthodoxy.

I think this is, at least in part, a way of distancing ourselves from the


“A little bit of eft and a little bit of moving to the political center,” Regalado said. We don’t expect him to challenge Biden. But at the same time, we expect him to run for national office soon.


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