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Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Sen Karl Rhoads Closing Barn Door after the Trump Escapes?
By Andrew Walden @ 6:16 PM :: 2158 Views :: First Amendment, Office of Elections, Republican Party

by Andrew Walden

Closing the barn door after the Trump escapes?

Eager to keep former President Donald J Trump off the November election ballot after the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, Senate Judiciary Chair Karl Rhoads must be frustrated that the Hawaii Constitution bars from the ballot only those who have “been convicted of any act to overthrow, or attempt to overthrow….”

The lack of such a conviction is a key argument Trump lawyers are making against efforts to knock Trump off the ballot in Maine and Colorado. 

Here is the text from Rhoads’ proposed State Constitutional Amendment, SB2393, introduced January 19, 2024 and referred to JDC and WAM: 

The purpose of this Act is to propose to amend article XVI, section 3, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii to more closely reflect the language of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

SECTION 2. Article XVI, section 3, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii is amended to read as follows:

"DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM PUBLIC OFFICE OR EMPLOYMENT

Section 3. No person shall hold any elected office for this State or any portion of this State, or serve as an elector of the president or vice president, or hold any other public office or employment, either as a civilian or a member of the Hawaii national guard or successor entity, who [has been convicted of any act to overthrow, or attempt to overthrow, or conspiracy with any person to overthrow the government of this State or of the United States by force or violence.], having previously sworn or affirmed to support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Hawaii, or the constitution of any other state, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof."

Because it is a Constitutional amendment, SB2393 must receive a 2/3 vote in both the State House and State Senate.  The amendment would then be presented to the voters on November 5, 2024--the same day voters decide the next President of the United States. 

SB2393 cannot keep Trump off the ballot: But it could have all kinds of unintended consequences in future elections.

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SA: Hawaii Senate bills would ban candidates for insurrection

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