Calif. AG candidate sues over ballot designation

Chris Rizo Mar. 26, 2010, 1:00pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Republican attorney general candidate John Eastman has filed a lawsuit asking that he be allowed put his occupation as "assistant attorney general" in voter materials.

Eastman, the former dean of Chapman University Law School Law in Orange, wants to use the ballot designation in the June primary. But there are potential problems with the designation.

Eastman is not an assistant attorney general in the California Department of Justice, but rather he is currently serving as outside counsel for the South Dakota attorney general's office.

In January, Eastman resigned as dean of the Chapman University Law School Law in Orange. Since then, his "primary professional occupation" is working on a U.S. Supreme Court case on behalf of South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.

Eastman's campaign said he is being paid $20,000 for the work on the case of Reisch v. Sisney, No. 09-953. The case involves a state prisoner who is challenging the way kosher food is prepared at the state's correctional institution.

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, a Democrat, had the final say on whether Eastman may use the assistant AG tag in voter materials. Eastman's lawsuit was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court after his campaign received preliminary word that his proposed ballot designation had been rejected.

For political candidates who are not in office have their ballot designation limited by California Elections Code §13107.

The statute says that their ballot designations may be "no more than three words designating either the current principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate, or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents."

Also running for the GOP attorney general nomination is Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and state Sen. Tom Harman of Huntington Beach.

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Organizations in this Story

California Department of Justice
1300 I St
Sacramento, CA 95814

U.S. Supreme Court
1 First St NE
Washington, DC 20543

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