On behalf of former presidential candidates John Dummett and Ed Noonan, the U.S. Justice Foundation recently submitted a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court to determine what safeguards are constitutionally mandated in ensuring a candidate is qualified to run. The action is in response to two previous court rulings suggesting California’s secretary of state does not have a responsibility to verify a presidential candidate’s status as a natural born citizen.
The USJF petition cites the U.S. Constitution, specifically Article II, Section 2, which says state legislatures are tasked with determining eligibility. Given the nation’s current electoral process, the court document holds these lawmakers must provide voters with a choice between candidates who meet constitutional requirements for the position they seek.
The petition chronicles the court history of the issue, including appeals court decisions the petitioners conclude were based on faulty logic. The appeal provides three reasons that, through the role of California’s chief elections officer, the secretary of state should be tasked with verifying a presidential candidate’s eligibility.
First, USJF argues that no sufficient pathway to challenging a candidate’s qualification exists on the federal level. The petition describes the arduous process needed to complete such a challenge through the U.S. Congress, concluding that since the remedy is “so limited in its scope, the question of whether a candidate for President is eligible for the office cannot be effectively address, much less resolved, under current constitutional or statutory law.”
That argument leads to the second point, namely that both the Electoral College and U.S. Congress lack any authority to determine a presidential candidate’s eligibility.
Finally, the petitioners contend that current statutes compelling the California secretary of state to place major political parties’ nominees on the state’s ballot is in direct conflict with the duty to comply with existing election laws.
In its conclusion, the petition asserts that the appellants represented “have demonstrated that questions of eligibility are not properly before any entity other than the court or the chief elections officer of the State of California” and “that the Secretary of State has a ministerial duty to verify a candidates [sic] eligibility.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom