Trump has proved that these 19th-century electoral laws are ticking time bombs

That January 6 Committee Hearings of the House of Representatives raised two overarching questions. The first: Will the Justice Department impeach and prosecute former President Donald Trump for leading a criminal conspiracy to steal the 2020 presidential election? Second, will Congress enact major reforms to protect our democracy from a future presidential coup attempt or an insurgent attack on the US Capitol?

Ultimately, only Attorney General Merrick Garland can answer the first question. Congress is now considering the second.

Ultimately, only Attorney General Merrick Garland can answer the first question. Congress is now considering the second.

A bipartisan group of senators led by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Manchin, DW.Va., proposed two measures Wednesday that would break flawed 19th-century legislation that still governs US presidential elections regulate, reform significantly. Amendments must be made to the Presidential Election Day Act of 1845 and the Electoral Count Act of 1887 incorporating the 1845 Act.

The proposed bills open the door for the Senate to address the serious issues in those bills — issues that have been alarmingly dramatized by Trump’s attempted presidential coup. It’s becoming increasingly clear that loopholes in the 1845 statute and problems in the Electoral Count Act were at the heart of Trump’s effort to steal the 2020 election.

The Collins-Manchin proposal needs careful scrutiny to ensure it prevents future presidential coup attempts. It will also take 10 Republican senators to defy a filibuster and no opposition from Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell to get through the Senate.

In addition, the vice chairman of the panel of January 6, Rep. Lynn Cheney, R-Wy., and Senior Member Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. issued a statement late Wednesday that the panel would propose its own bipartisan solution to the repair of the Electoral Counts Act.

Congress has the power under Article 2, Section 1, Clause 4 of the Constitution to determine when presidential elections are held. The 1845 Act establishes the official four-year presidential election day, when voters elect voters. It also provides that if a state “no choice made” Then, on election day, the state’s presidential electors may be elected “in such manner as the legislature of that state shall direct.” There is no definition of what “no choice made” requires.

This means a state legislature could simply rule that voters “didn’t make a choice” based on allegations of widespread voter fraud — or other reasons the legislature chooses. It could then replace the voters elected on election day with its own choice of presidential elections.


Sounds far fetched?

It was — until Trump and coup strategist John Eastman tried to use that gap to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.

We listened January 6th of the House of Representatives is June 23rd Session how planning and plotting has evolved. Former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and former acting assistant attorney general Richard Donoghue testified about a letter that Jeffrey Clark, then acting chief of the Justice Department’s civil division, urged to sign.

The letter alleged – falsely – that the Justice Department had raised significant concerns about voting irregularities in several states, including Georgia. Once the letter was signed, Clark planned to mail it pro tempore on Trump’s behalf to the governor of Georgia, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate – all Republicans.

To solve this fabricated problem, the letter proposed calling a special session of the Georgia Legislature. It would then “assess the irregularities” and “take whatever action is necessary” to ensure the correct list of voters is sent to Congress — that is, the Trump list, even though Biden won the state.

The letter cited the loophole in the 1845 statute as a basis for the Georgia legislature to override voters and choose their own presidential electors.

Most critically, the letter cited the loophole in the 1845 Act as a basis for the Georgia legislature to override voters and choose their own presidential electors. The letter said the law “explicitly recognizes the authority that state legislatures have to appoint voters” if voters “did not make a choice” on Election Day.

Clark’s proposed effort also included sending in the Justice Department similar letters to other battleground states with Republican-controlled legislatures.

Rosen and Donoghue flatly refused to sign the letter – and a constitutional crisis was averted.

However, the blueprint indicated a path for future coup plotters to follow. You wouldn’t even need the Justice Department. State legislatures could do this themselves — and many of the key battleground states are now controlled by Republicans.

The loophole of the 1845 Act is a ticking time bomb. Reform is essential to eliminate them and remove the ability of state legislatures to override voter choice.

A second serious problem in 19th-century law was illustrated by Trump’s phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021. Trump spent an hour pressuring the state official to change the way Georgia’s presidential vote is counted. “All I want to do is this,” Trump said on the call. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, that’s one more than we have because we won the state.”


In other words, Trump was trying to get Raffensperger to rig the vote. Raffensperger refused.

Trump’s call certainly appears to violate both federal and Georgia state laws. But this case shows how a rogue secretary of state or other empowered state official could certify bogus presidential elections or refuse to certify electors.

A presidential candidate harmed by such action must be able to effectively challenge it in court. Precise reform provisions in the Electoral Count Act must be clearly worded to avoid ambiguities that could lead to ambiguity – and thereby create new opportunities to overturn a presidential election.

The reforms must provide a specific cause of action to challenge improper certification or non-certification. They should also provide for the right to expedited review by federal courts.

And the adversely affected presidential candidate must be exonerated in time, as a new president must be certified on January 6, just two months after Election Day. There isn’t much time for legal action.

The plot to steal the 2020 presidential election was revealing. Congress must act now to ensure that any future attempt to steal the presidency will not succeed where that first failed. Trump has proved that these 19th-century electoral laws are ticking time bombs

Fry Electronics Team

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