A Hawaii committee is advancing a bill that might keep Donald Trump off the ballot

The Hawaii Senate Committee on Judiciary has recently approved a bill that aims to prevent individuals who have violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution from being eligible to appear on a ballot.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Senator Karl Rhoads, who chairs the committee, does not stipulate that the candidate must be convicted. Candidates who are disqualified have the option to appeal to a district court.

The bill received widespread opposition during the hearing on Tuesday, with the majority of attendees expressing their disapproval. While the bill does not explicitly mention former President Donald Trump, many argued that he is the clear target of its provisions.

Rami Donahoe, who testified against the bill, expressed skepticism about the motives behind supporting it. According to Donahoe, one possible reason could be the belief that Donald Trump has a realistic chance of becoming the Republican candidate and even winning the presidency. However, Donahoe firmly stated that Trump would not emerge victorious in a blue state like Hawaii during the ’24 election. Donahoe also questioned Senator Rhoads’ confidence in Trump’s chances of success.

Some critics argue that the bill strips away the voter’s freedom to select their preferred candidate.

“I urge you to reconsider the potential consequences of this legislation,” said Tamara McKay, chairman of the Hawaiian Republican Party. “As citizens, we have the right to make our own choices, and it is not in the government’s best interest to dictate what is best for us. You were elected into office to represent the people, and it is our responsibility to make decisions that align with the principles outlined in the Constitution of the United States of America.”

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According to Rhoads, the bill has a broader scope beyond just Trump and could potentially affect other individuals as well. He also mentioned that the Hawaii Office of Elections currently lacks a specific procedure to handle challenges against candidates listed on the ballot.

According to Rhoads, it is essential to establish a mechanism for resolving these allegations, regardless of whether the Supreme Court allows Trump to be included in the ballot in the near future. He believes that relying solely on the Office of Elections to handle these matters is not sufficient.

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court will listen to arguments regarding a Colorado challenge to Trump’s inclusion on the ballot.

Senators Brandon Elefante and Joy San Buenaventura, both Democrats, voted in favor of advancing the bill. However, Sen. San Buenaventura expressed reservations with her “yes” vote. On the other hand, Senator Mike Gabbard, a Democrat, and Senator Brenton Awa, a Republican, voted against the bill.

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