On February 2, the California Supreme Court refused to hear Keyes v Bowen, 188724, the case that argued the Secretary of State must investigate whether a presidential candidate meets the qualifications to be president, before listing him or her on the ballot. The case had been brought by (America’s Independent Party Presidential Candidate) Alan Keyes in 2008. Keyes plans to ask for U.S. Supreme Court review of this case.
The California Court of Appeals decision in this case will now stand. On October 25, 2010, the Court of Appeals had ruled that if a qualified party certifies a presidential nominee, the Secretary of State must list him or her on the November ballot. The decision says, “Section 6041 gives the Secretary of State some discretion in determining whether to place a name on the primary ballot, but she has no such discretion for the general election ballot…with respect to general elections, section 6901 directs that the Secretary of State must place on the ballot the names of the several political parties’ candidates.” The word “must” is in italics.
The Court of Appeals decision acknowledges that in 1968, California Secretary of State Frank Jordan refused to list the Peace & Freedom Party’s presidential nominee on the November ballot. That candidate was Eldridge Cleaver, and he was only 33 years old at the time. The decision, in effect, says the Secretary of State in 1968 should have listed Cleaver.