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The California Recall Election is an Unconstitutional Farce

The California recall election is an example of democracy run amok. Yes, there must be some mechanism to remove governors, judges, or legislators who commit crimes while in office, but recall elections like the one to remove CA Gov. Gavin Newsom on September 14th are solely based on getting 12% of the number of voters in the last election to sign a petition. That's it. You just have to get some rich donors to put up the money to find a small percentage of voters who don't agree with some of the governor's policies - expensive, but not particularly difficult or representative of the people's wishes.

And, that's not even the worst part. The actual recall election is an undemocratic farce. The ballot asks voters two questions: Should the governor be recalled, and, if so, who should be the new governor. If the majority of voters reject the recall, the second question is moot. But if more than 50% vote yes, the candidate with the most votes becomes the next governor, even if they don't get anything close to a majority. And, here is the kicker; the current governor can't run as one of those candidates.

Going into the current CA recall, no one doubts that Gov. Gavin Newsom would trounce any of the 46 candidates that have filed to run to replace him. Conservative talk show host Larry Elder is leading the pack of wannabes with 18% in recent polling, and it's quite possible that Newsome could garner 48% support during the recall phase and lose his job to a candidate that could only muster about 20% in the second phase. That isn't just insane; it's unconstitutional.

New York Times, Professors Erwin Chemerinsky and Aaron S. Edlin: "It violates a core constitutional principle that has been followed for over 60 years: Every voter should have an equal ability to influence the outcome of the election."
"The Supreme Court articulated this principle in two 1964 cases, Wesberry v. Sanders and Reynolds v. Sims."

The Bottom Line: If Republicans want to replace Newsom, they should have to do it the old fashioned way; beat him in an actual election. That they have chosen to put so much effort into this recall says volumes about how they perceive their chances in CA's 2022 gubernatorial election.

#politics #law

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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