California law shows AG Becerra unfit to be on the ballot
Breitbart News reported that in a lawsuit brought by former Republican candidate for California Attorney General Eric Early, Sacramento Superior Court judge Richard K. Sueyoshi ruled that current Democrat and California attorney general Xavier Becerra can remain on the ballot for the November 2018 runoff with Republican candidate Steven Bailey.
According to Breitbart:
California General Election Code 12503 says, "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." As of the November 6, 2018 general election, Becerra will have only been reactivated as a practicing attorney for a period of one year, ten months and five days, according to Early.
Becerra, a sitting member of Congress since 1993, was an "inactive" member of the California Bar for 26 years when Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him as California's attorney general. Becerra was appointed in January 2017 when then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate.
The judge's decision appears to conflict with the law and the rules of the State Bar of California. The State Bar of California has a document, entitled "Application for Transfer to Inactive Status," which states that "transferring to inactive status ... precludes an attorney from practicing law in California[.]" The application cites and quotes Rules of the State Bar, Title 2, Rule 2.30. This rule states:
B) No member practicing law, or occupying a position in the employ of or rendering any legal service for an active member, or occupying a position wherein he or she is called upon in any capacity to give legal advice or counsel or examine the law or pass upon the legal effect of any act, document or law, shall be enrolled as an inactive member.
Therefore, the State Bar is correct when it states in the application that "transferring to inactive status ... precludes an attorney from practicing law in California[.]"
California General Election Code 12503 requires that Becerra "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" the office of attorney general. It appears to be impossible for a person to have been "admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the state" while the person was precluded from practicing law because of that person's "inactive" status. Does the Supreme Court of California have anybody admitted to practice before it who is precluded from practicing law in California? Under Judge Sueyoshi's ruling, apparently, Becerra is the only such person ever.
Allan J. Favish is an attorney in Los Angeles. His website is allanfavish.com. James Fernald and Mr. Favish have co-authored a book about what might happen if the government ran Disneyland, entitled Fireworks! If the Government Ran the Fairest Kingdom of Them All (A Very Unauthorized Fantasy).