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California's secretary of state allows Trump on the state primary ballot

California's Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber ruled Thursday night that former U.S. President Donald Trump, seen exiting the courtroom at New York State Supreme Court on Dec. 7 in New York City, is qualified to appear on the California's primary ballot. Photo by Louis Lanzano/UPI.
California's Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber ruled Thursday night that former U.S. President Donald Trump, seen exiting the courtroom at New York State Supreme Court on Dec. 7 in New York City, is qualified to appear on the California's primary ballot. Photo by Louis Lanzano/UPI. | License Photo

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber decided to leave former President Donald Trump's name on the state's primary ballot.

Weber included Trump's name on the official list of qualified candidates for California's March 5 primary election published Thursday.

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Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis published an open letter Dec. 20 calling for Trump's 14th Amendment removal from the ballot.

"The Colorado decision can be the basis for a similar decision here in our state. The constitution is clear: you must be 35 years old and not be an insurrectionist," Kounalakis wrote. "This is a dire matter that puts at stake the sanctity of our constitution and our democracy."

Weber did not issue a statement on her decision to leave Trump's name on the ballot but responded to Kounalakis' letter last week, citing several lawsuits regarding Trump's eligibility for the ballot.

"While we can agree that the attack on the Capitol and the former president's involvement was abhorrent, there are complex legal issues surrounding this matter," Weber wrote.

At the Weber said her office would "continue to assess" its options.

Other California Democrats joined Kunalakis in calling for Trump to be removed from the ballot but Gov. Gavin Newsom opposed the idea, arguing he should instead be handed a defeat by voters, stating that while Trump is a "threat to our liberties," seeking to pull him from the ballot may pose a "political distraction."

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Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows ruled Thursday that Trump is ineligible for the ballot under section 3 of the 14th Amendment, writing that "the U.S. Constitution does not tolerate an assault on the foundations of our government."

But she said her decision would not be enforced until the U.S. Supreme Court decided the constitutional question.

Colorado's Supreme Court decided Dec. 19 that the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment insurrectionist ban disqualifies Trump from that state's ballot.

Both the Maine and Colorado decisions disqualifying Trump from their ballots are on hold until Jan. 4, so Trump's campaign can seek U.S. Supreme Court review of the 14th Amendment decisions.

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