Representing legal immigrants in effort to verify voters’ citizenship status
By Allen Payton
Elections law attorney and Clayton resident, Mark Meuser, along with attorneys Harmeet Dhillon and Gregory Michael of the Dhillon Law Group in San Francisco, sued California Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Tuesday, claiming the state is not ensuring only citizens are on the voter rolls. Meuser was Padilla’s opponent in last November’s election.
The suit was filed on behalf of three California voters, two of whom are legal immigrants “who earned the privilege to vote by becoming citizens of the United States,” Meuser said.
Meuser and Dhillon were also part of the legal team that was successful in court on Tuesday, when a federal judge barred California from requiring presidential candidates provide their tax returns in order to appear on the March 2020 Primary Election Ballot. It mainly targeted President Trump who has refused to release his tax returns.
Legal Immigrants Sue California For Failure To Verify Voters’ Citizenship Status.
In addition to suing Padilla, the lawsuit by the plaintiffs, Roxanne Hoge, Ali Mazarei, and Corrin Rankin, was also filed against Steve Gordon, director of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles for violations of the National Voter Registration Act. That was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Both Hoge and Mazarei are the legal immigrants who became citizens.
“Federal law says that a state is to ensure that only citizens are on the voting rolls” Meuser said. “California has admitted that they are doing nothing to verify citizenship prior to placing applicants on the voter rolls.”
“The National Voter Registration Act says three things,” he stated in an interview with the California Globe. “Number 1, is that the state shall determine eligibility. Eligibility and citizenship go hand in hand. All they are doing is looking at state records for felons or duplicate registrations.”
To see the entire complaint, visit Publius Lex.
“I am grateful that Publius Lex has agreed to assist in funding this important litigation,” Meuser shared. “Publius Lex is a 501c3 organization that assists in the funding of important civil rights litigation.”
Meuser is asking those interested in supporting the legal effort to please visit the website to make a tax-deductible donation.
Federal Judge Stops California from Keeping President Trump Off of California’s Presidential Primary Ballot
Senate Bill 27 was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in July, in an attempt to force President Trump to release five years of his tax returns. But the judge ruled the law unconstitutional, as it adds to the requirements to be president. The team of lawyers represented the National Republican Party, California Republican Party, and several California voters who sued the State of California and won.
Tuesday, United States District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. issued an injunction prohibiting California from enforcing the law before they could be placed on the ballot. The judge ruled the law was unconstitutional because:
- The qualifications to serve as President are in the Constitution and California cannot add to the Constitution;
- The Republican Party has the right to determine who its standard bearer will be and California cannot interfere with the Republican primary process;
- Californians have the right to vote for the qualified presidential candidate of their choice and the state cannot tip the scales by pushing voters towards certain candidates by not placing candidates on the ballot;
- Under Equal Protection, California cannot treat independent candidates one way and candidates for the major parties a different way. This law did not require independent candidates to show their tax returns; and
- Federal law already mandated financial disclosures of presidential candidates and as such, the state was preempted from passing laws when Congress has already acted.
“Judge England’s opinion makes clear that California’s SB 27 was fatally unconstitutional in multiple respects: qualifications clause, First Amendment, Equal Protection, and also pre-empted by the federal statutes,” Dhillon said. “This order is a victory for the First Amendment, the rule of law, and for all citizens who want to cast their vote for the qualified presidential candidate of their choice without California’s interference. We hope that in light of this decisive, multi-layered opinion, California drops this biased effort to disenfranchise Republican voters, and moves on to more productive efforts designed to address California’s many substantive challenges that affect all California residents.”
“The Judge was very clear that SB 27 was unconstitutional and that the State has no authority to interfere with a qualified candidate appearing on the California Presidential Primary ballot,” Meuser added. “California cannot pass a law that interferes with the Republican Party selecting the standard bearer of its choosing.”
The judge’s decision can be read, here.