California Has Two Challenges to Trump's Candidacy Formal Removal

Formal Legal Removal Petition Backs Up Letter From 9 Legislators
WASHINGTON - Sept. 20, 2023 - PRLog -- Nine California legislators wrote a letter to the state's attorney general asking him to take court action to prevent Trump from being on the ballot.

The following day a formal legal removal petition was filed with the Attorney General, and also with the Secretary of State, also demanding the removal of Trump's name from the ballot, but also suggesting a prior legislative-type hearing.

AG Bonita has promised to look into the matter "internally."

Unlike the legislators' informal letter, the formal legal removal petition might pave the groundwork for a suit to compel action to keep Trump off the ballot, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.  The law professor was held to have legal standing to obtain an independent counsel to investigate Debategate.

His legal filings also helped obtain special prosecutors to investigation former president Richard Nixon, and he was able - when others had given up - to bring a novel legal action to compel former vice president Spiro Agnew to return the money he received in bribes before being forced to resign his office.

This parallels formal legal demands pursuant to Section 13 filed by Prof Banzhaf in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania which also request a fact-finding hearing.

Unlike some who argue that Section 13 is "self executing" - i.e. that no further legal proceedings are required - Banzhaf notes that another section of the Fourteenth Amendment which says than no person can be deprived of any "liberty" or "property" type interest without due process of law means that there must first be an adjudicative (fact-finding) hearing before Trump could be removed from ballots.

To refute those who argue that preventing candidates from appearing on ballots is un-American and/or undemocratic, a new report ( shows that such efforts are not uncommon, and have frequently been successful.

In addition to prompting serious consideration of this issue in states where it is already being discussed, Banzhaf's and other formal legal requests which have just been filed with the secretaries of state of other states may help avoid the frequent failure of similar efforts to disqualify Trump, former president Barack Obama, and others - a lack of legal standing - explains Banzhaf.

As the impartial Congressional Research Service has determined (, "Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment does not expressly require a criminal conviction, and historically, one was not necessary.  Reconstruction Era federal prosecutors brought civil actions in court to oust officials linked to the Confederacy, and Congress in some cases took action to remove them.   @profbanzhaf

GW Law
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