Friday, August 3, 2018
C.A. Denies Writ in Challenge to Becerra’s Eligibility for Election as A.G.
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Third District Court of Appeal yesterday summarily denied a petition for a writ of mandate aimed at barring the name of Xavier Becerra, the appointed state attorney general, to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot as a candidate for the office he presently holds.
The order denying the petition of Los Angeles attorney Eric Early—who came in last in a four-person race for the office in the June 5 primary—said:
“See., e.g., Chambers v. Terry (1940) 40 Cal.App.2d 153.”
Early is contending that Becerra—who was on inactive status State Bar status from Jan. 1, 1991 to Jan. 1, 2017—is ineligible to be attorney general based on Government Code §12503 which provides:
“No person shall be eligible to the office of Attorney General unless he shall have been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the state for a period of at least five years immediately preceding his election or appointment to such office.”
Early seeks an interpretation of “admitted to practice” as connoting active membership in the State Bar.
In Chambers, the eligibility of a candidate for the Municipal Court was questioned based on his lack of active membership in the State Bar for the preceding five-year period, as required by the Municipal Court Act at the time of the election.
The Court of Appeal said the statute conflicted with Art. VI, §23 which required that the candidate have “been admitted to practice before the supreme court of the State for a period of at least five years immediately preceding his election or appointment to such office.” That language identical to the statute cited by Early except for a matter of the capitalization of the word “State” in the constitutional provision.
Early was also rebuffed last month in his effort to have a writ issued by the Sacramento Superior Court. He has announced his intention to appeal from that denial, in addition to seeking a writ in the Court of Appeal.
Becerra, who was sworn in as attorney general Jan. 24, 2017, replacing Kamala Harris, who resigned to take a seat in the U.S. Senate, faces retired El Dorado Superior Court Judge Steven Bailey in the general election.
Copyright 2018, Metropolitan News Company