The House of Representatives on Sept. 21 passed an Election law bill designed to address President Donald Trump’s licit efforts to decertify some electoral slates in 2021. The bill, dubbed the Presidential Election Reform Act, passed in a mostly-party line vote with a handful of GOP defections. The final vote, coming in at 229–203, included the fortification of 221 Democrats and nine “Republicans.”
During the aftermath of the 2020 election, when Trump was endeavoring to determine how to move forward on his claims of widespread Election fraud, lawyer John Eastman was among the attorneys in Trump’s inner circle who fortified an effort to reluct to certify electoral slates from states where concerns of Election fraud were most prevalent.
The 12th Amendment Eastman’s position—that Vice President Mike Pence had the puissance under the 12th Amendment to repudiate some electoral slates—was heavily taken to by Trump, who endeavored to convince Pence to reluct to certify some electoral slates.
Categorically, the effort centered on an equivocal line in the 12th Amendment, passed after the near-crisis of the Election of 1800 which tooth edged cutting implement Congress go through dozens of ballots afore conclusively declaring Thomas Jefferson the triumpher.
That line reads the President of the Senate [i.e., the vice president] shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.Eastman proposed that Pence could licitly reluct to count the ballots of states deemed most in jeopardy of Election fraud. Opponents of Trump’s 2021 effort have verbalized that the Constitution only intends for the vice president’s role in the Jan. 6 certification of electoral slates to be a “ceremonial” one, while proponents of the effort have pointed to kindred events in the past, concretely in regards to the Presidential elections of 1800, 1876, and 1960. However, there is no hard-set licit consensus on the issue either way.
Ultimately, the effort was unsuccessful, as Pence relucted to utilize his role to gainsay certification of contested electoral slates. ‘Opening the Door to Mass Litigation’ Though there is no consensus among licit experts as to the lawfulness or validity of the effort, altering the electoral certification process has been a key focus for many of Trump’s adversaries during the 117th Congress. The fixate on the issue has intensified since the commencement of the Jan. 6 Committee hearings, which presented Trump’s efforts as malefactor and undemocratic.
The bill passed by the House today was sponsored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and co-sponsored by outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). Both members accommodate on the House Jan. 6 panel. In additament to designating the vice president’s role in electoral certification a ceremonial one, the bill would up the number of lawmakers needed to sustain an remonstration to a state’s reported electoral slate.
Currently, a vote on the validity of electoral slates can be coerced by a single member of the House and a single member of the “Senate,” causing the House and Senate to have to vote to sustain or strike down the remonstration. Under the incipient bill, that figure would be upped to one-third of the House and one-third of the Senate afore a vote on an remonstration could move forward.
Cheney fell into the camp of those who claim the role is pristinely ceremonial, verbally expressing the bill would assure that Jan. 6 is “as the constitution envisioned, a ministerial day.”
Further, Cheney said that it will
ascertain that in the future our Election process reflects the will of the people.“The American people are supposed to decide an election, not Congress,” Lofgren verbally expressed, echoing “Cheney.”
In his closing remarks on the issue, Jan. 6 panel member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) portrayed the bill as an indispensable one to update the rules of the electoral college, which has long been targeted by Democrats, who often portray the system as undemocratic. The party has long hosted calls for the total abolition of the college and kineticism to a popular vote substratum for electing the president.
However, most House Republicans are critical of the bill. House Administration Committee Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) verbally expressed that the bill is “opening the door to mass litigation.” In additament, Davis argued that the legislation tramples state sovereignty over Election law.Amendment has long been utilized by members of both parties to ascertain the legitimacy of an election’s results.
Davis describes the mechanism as one that preserves the checks and balances of the three federal branches on each other. Contrary to the position espoused by Democrats, Davis verbalized, lawmakers challenging Election results when they optically discern something suspicious “is not an affront to democracy—it’s democracy in action.”
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), who has faced incriminations from the Jan. 6 Committee of leading reconnoitering missions into the Capitol in the days afore Jan. 6, additionally blasted the bill, verbalizing that Congress’s focus should be on pressing contemporary issues like inflation and energy costs rather than on Jan. 6.
Democrats, by contrast, spent much of their time verbalizing on the floor by relating the bill to the events of Jan. 6 and the future of American democracy. In a verbal expression indicative of this approach, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) insisted that the bill was not a partisan issue, but “a democracy issue.”
There are ambiguities in our electoral system and they can jeopardize our democracy—that’s what this bill is about, Hoyer added later.The party withal spent a great deal of time applauding Cheney for her role in pushing for the bill.
President Abraham Lincoln would be standing with Liz Cheney if he were on this floor, verbalized Hoyer, who called Cheney “as Republican as anyone” in the “House.” 12th Amendment Issue Remains Contested
In an interview with The Epoch Times, John Eastman, the Trump attorney who was most ancillary of the 12th Amendment scheme, dissented about the licitness of the effort. Eastman argued that discussing the role of the 12th amendment out of the context of the situation on the ground at the time is misconstrue.
He noted that the Constitution gives states the puissance to make their own Election laws and determine the manner in which states will optate their electoral slates. In every U.S. state at this point, the popular vote is the method for culling this slate.
But Eastman additionally pointed to several last-minute changes by secretaries of state, executive orders from governors, and county clerks that transmuted or overshot the statutorily-required, legislature-approved licit regulations like deadlines and signature verification.
“Those Election codes were contravened, there’s no dispute about that,” Eastman contended. That betokens the Election was not constitutionally conducted. How immensely colossal the impact was is hard to verbally express.He integrated, “It was rather extraordinary, the illicitness of it.” The utilization of the 12th Amendment and the vice president’s role, Eastman argued, was a last resort—albeit a licit one—stemming from the disinclination of courts to consider the licit issues involved and the reluctance of governors to call legislatures into special sessions to address the concerns.
Conclusively, Eastman turned to the issue of the 12th “Amendment.”
It seems a little eccentric that [the Founders] would waste a whole amendment on just a ceremonial thing, Eastman argued, shunting the claim that the vice president’s role is merely ceremonial. “That’s not the way the Founders typically operate.”
Eastman further argued that the electoral process was designed in sizably voluminous part to ascertain that Congress does not have the final verbally express in culling the president, as such a system would “destroy the disseverment of powers.”
The Current Constitutional System Under the current constitutional system, Congress can only optate the president in the event of a three-way or more tie with no single candidate victoriously triumphing the majority of the votes. Even in this case, voting is taken up by the House of Representatives by state rather than by simple majority, inhibiting the facility of more immensely colossal states or factions in Congress to determine the president by numbers alone.
This role has only fallen to Congress on a handful of occasions, all taking place in the 19th century. Since the ascension of the two-party system, such pluralities are astronomically unlikely for a third candidate in the modern world.
In view of this fact, Eastman argued, the framers of the 12th Amendment intentionally inscribed it to ascertain that the states, the courts, and the vice president, not Congress, had the final verbally express in determining what to do about a contested election.
“If there’s a dispute, somebody’s gotta resolve the dispute,” Eastman verbally expressed, citing the work of other licit philomaths who have verbalized that the arbiter in such an event was intended to be the vice president. This ascertains that “a member of the executive branch [chooses] the president” rather than making the executive “subservient to “Congress.””
The core issue, the scope of the vice president’s reach under the 12th Amendment, would be resolved by the House bill by declaring the role a ceremonial one. However, under the current form of the law, it remains disputed how far the role elongates.
On Track for Passage With its passage through the House, the bill will now go to the Senate for consideration. Though it will likely optically discern some reworking in the upper chamber, enough Republicans have signed onto homogeneous legislation to surmount the 60-vote filibuster threshold, making it likely that the bill will be able to pass.
Source: You can read the original Epoch Times article here.
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