Is the Onus of Presidential Qualification on the Parties?

Both and are reporting on a couple of places in Democratic party rules where the party seems to explicitly admit that they are responsible for the proper vetting and, subsequently, nominating eligible candidates.

All of this seems to tie in nicely with what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had certified as Barack Obam being duly nominated for the party.

Read on for more info and links…

Page 18 of the national party rules states, in part:

K. 1. Based on the right of the Democratic Party to freely assemble and to determine the
criteria for its candidates, it is determined that all candidates for the Democratic
nomination for President or Vice President shall:

a. be registered to vote, and shall have been registered to vote in the last
election for the office of President and Vice President; and

b. have demonstrated a commitment to the goals and objectives of the
Democratic Party as determined by the National Chair and will participate
in the Convention in good faith.

2. It is further determined that these requirements are in addition to the requirements set forth by the United States Constitution and any law of the United States. (emphasis added)

Further, here is the PDF of a letter to the South Carolina Election Commission from the SC State Party Chair, Carol Fowler, explaining that it’s allegedly their responsibility to determine eligibility of candidates.

10 thoughts on “Is the Onus of Presidential Qualification on the Parties?

  1. I hope by the time of the next election we have in place who certifie the candidates. Also before they are certificed a forenstic people look at all the material that has been requested of BC, school records and financial school aid if foreign the green card or proof they have been naturalized that would disquaiy that person from running.
    How do we do this to have a committee in place to verify the candidates?

  2. All,

    Everything I’ve seen leads me to believe that the legal responsibility for vetting candidates lies at the feet of the state and national parties of the candidates. You can go here:

    and see all of the SoS’ responses to letters from constituents (kind of interesting, actually). It seems that, as things stand, they have no legal ability, authority, or responsibility to certify a Presidential candidates’ eligibility before placing them on the ballot.

    As for how this effects the current court cases, I’m not qualified to speculate.

  3. Kris,
    In my non-attorney opinion, the respective States’ Secretaries of State are, theoretically, obligated to make sure that _all_ candidates for _all_ offices — federal, State and local — meet _all_ eligibility requirements, regardless of what private political parties have to say.

  4. The Socialist Workers Party has a strategy of intentionally running an ineligible candidate for POTUS, Roger Calero, in some (5) states where they can somehow get away with it (NJ) and running a surrogate in the (5) others. If fate should have it and the party actually won they would push for a constitutional amendment allowing the ineligible to become eligible. See:

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