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Article VII Section 10 California Constitution – Public Officers and Employees

Article VII Section 10 California Constitution

Below is the content of Article VII Section 10 of the California Constitution 

(a) No person who is found liable in a civil action for making libelous or slanderous statements against an opposing candidate during the course of an election campaign for any federal, statewide, Board of Equalization, or legislative office or for any county, city and county, city, district, or any other local elective office shall retain the seat to which he or she is elected, where it is established that the libel or slander was a major contributing cause in the defeat of an opposing candidate.

A libelous or slanderous statement shall be deemed to have been made by a person within the meaning of this section if that person actually made the statement or if the person actually or constructively assented to, authorized, or ratified the statement.

“Federal office,” as used in this section means the office of United States Senator and Member of the House of Representatives; and to the extent that the provisions of this section do not conflict with any provision of federal law, it is intended that candidates seeking the office of United States Senator or Member of the House of Representatives comply with this section.

(b) In order to determine whether libelous or slanderous statements were a major contributing cause in the defeat of an opposing candidate, the trier of fact shall make a separate, distinct finding on that issue. If the trier of fact finds that libel or slander was a major contributing cause in the defeat of an opposing candidate and that the libelous or slanderous statement was made with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or true, the person holding office shall be disqualified from or shall forfeit that office as provided in subdivision (d). The findings required by this section shall be in writing and shall be incorporated as part of the judgment.

See also  Article IV Section 5 California Constitution - Legislative

(c) In a case where a person is disqualified from holding office or is required to forfeit an office under subdivisions (a) and (b), that disqualification or forfeiture shall create a vacancy in office, which vacancy shall be filled in the manner provided by law for the filling of a vacancy in that particular office.

(d) Once the judgment of liability is entered by the trial court and the time for filing a notice of appeal has expired, or all possibility of direct attack in the courts of this State has been finally exhausted, the person shall be disqualified from or shall forfeit the office involved in that election and shall have no authority to exercise the powers or perform the duties of the office.

(e) This section shall apply to libelous or slanderous statements made on or after the effective date of this section.


See also: Article VII Section 9 California Constitution

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