Hawaii Democrats Pass Bill to Remove President Trump from Ballot
The Hawaii State Legislature has passed a significant bill that could potentially bar former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state’s ballot for future elections.
The legislation, introduced by State Sen. Karl Rhoads, centers on the application of the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause as grounds to disqualify a candidate.
After its initial reading last month, the bill was subject to a public hearing by the Judiciary Committee.
SB 2392, which passed on Tuesday, does not mention Trump by name. However, its language clearly aims to prevent any candidate deemed to have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, as outlined in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, from holding office. Similar interpretations have been used in other states, such as Maine and Colorado, to challenge the former President’s eligibility.
The bill states that “election ballots issued by the chief election officer or county clerk shall exclude any candidate who is disqualified by a constitutional or statutory provision. Provides for a process for challenging an inclusion or exclusion of a candidate from a ballot. Includes a candidate’s disqualification as grounds for an election contest complaint. Specifies that electors of presidential and vice presidential candidates shall not be individuals who are disqualified by a constitutional or statutory provision. Prohibits electors from voting for any presidential or vice presidential nominee who has been disqualified pursuant to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”
“The legislature finds that citizens of this State have the right to expect that public servants be people of integrity, and not people who have committed actions that threaten democracy or undermine the vote of the people,” the bill says.
“Any challenge to the inclusion or exclusion of any candidate on a ballot issued by the chief election officer or clerk shall be in writing and, no later than the fifty-seventh day prior to the general election, shall be filed with the appropriate district court; provided that for any challenge to the inclusion or exclusion of a presidential candidate on a general election ballot, the appropriate district court shall be the district court of the first circuit. The challenge shall provide notice in a summary manner of the grounds that give rise to the complaint. No later than the fifty-fourth day prior to the general election, the district court shall hold a hearing regarding the challenge. The district court shall assess the validity of the complaint and shall issue findings of fact and conclusions of law no later than the fifty-third day prior to the general election. The party filing the challenge shall have the burden to sustain the challenge by a preponderance of the evidence, unless a higher burden is required by constitutional law.”
On Tuesday, the committee voted to pass the bill with amendments, with a voting breakdown of 3 in favor, 2 opposed, and none excused.
The committee’s recommendation now moves the bill forward in the legislative process.
Former President Trump has not been charged with any acts of insurrection.
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump is disqualified from holding the nation’s highest office again, based on a clause in the Constitution that disqualifies candidates who have engaged in insurrection. This was a divided ruling, with a 4-3 decision by the far left justices.
Similarly, Maine joined Colorado in barring Trump from the Republican primary ballot, citing the insurrection clause in the 14th Amendment. Maine’s Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, issued a written decision stating that the clause makes Trump ineligible to run for public office again.
The Supreme Court is likely to have the final say on Trump’s ballot eligibility.
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