The California Republican Party is refusing to rescind its endorsement of a man who, according to a lawyer, appears to have evoked the fringe legal theories of the sovereign citizen movement in a 2017 lawsuit.
The California GOP told the Daily Caller News Foundation that it wasn’t going to spend time or “valuable resources” revisiting its endorsement of Navy veteran Joe Collins, a former anti-Trump Green Party presidential candidate-turned pro-Trump Republican now vying to unseat 15-term Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters. (RELATED: California GOP Endorsed A Man Who Said His Bodily Fluids Were Worth $15 Million)
While running for president in 2017, Collins sued San Diego for $100 million in damages and the termination of his court-ordered child support obligations. Collins attached a document in the complaint saying his “DNA or Body Fluids,” are worth $15 million.
Collins argued in the lawsuit that his “inalienable rights as a living breathing man” were being violated by being subjected to child support proceedings and that he “does not consent to any contract, codes, state codes, statues, commercial presentments or anything similar.”
Constitutional lawyer Caesar Kalinowski previously told the DCNF that the arguments Collins made in his lawsuit “definitely indicate to me that he is espousing and/or invoking the same type of pseudolegal principles that you would find in the sovereign citizen movement.”
Adherents to sovereign citizen legal theories generally believe that “no government can exercise jurisdiction over them” without their consent, he explained. Kalinowski added that anyone who ascribes to the sovereign citizen ideology “likely lacks a very basic understanding of the Constitution and the framework of the government and how laws work.”
The California GOP endorsed Collins on Feb. 7 to serve as a lawmaker in the House of Representatives.
.@JoeCollins43rd is a Navy Veteran who will fix the problems caused by the Democrats, including Maxine Waters.
We are proud to endorse Joe Collins for Congress (CA-43). pic.twitter.com/pcTzJ0P5Bx
— CAGOP (@CAGOP) February 7, 2020
The California GOP said in a statement Wednesday that it will not rescind its endorsement of Collins, despite being informed of the legal theories Collins made in his 2017 lawsuit that Kalinowski said resembled the principles of the sovereign citizen movement.
“The process to endorse a candidate is long and involves many different entities including local supporters, county parties and others. To revisit that process would take away valuable resources from our efforts,” the statement read. “We are focused on GOTV, electing our candidates and the California GOP Comeback, and we are not going to spend time less than one week before the election on this issue.”
The California GOP did not answer if it was aware of Collins’s 2017 lawsuit when it endorsed the candidate.
California Democratic Party spokesman Roger Salazar declined to comment about the California GOP’s statement.
Collins will be one of two Republicans on the ballot challenging Waters in California’s 43rd congressional district in the state’s upcoming March 3 primary.
The other Republican on the ballot, Omar Navarro, has been in jail since December facing charges for allegedly continuing to stalk his ex-girlfriend just days after he was released from jail on $75,000 bail on similar charges, The San Francisco Examiner reported.
Collins tweeted Feb. 18 that he was the “healthy choice” to represent the district compared to Navarro, who is “in prison” and Waters, who “needs to retire.”
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