Are you trying to understand or make sense of all that is going on with the presidential election challenges? Me too. I’ve been listening, reading, and taking notes. I’ll jot down here some ‘knowns” and what possibilities could happen in the coming days. Please be advised that there will not be a new presidential election. There is no time for that. Our nation has laws and provisions for handling the present situation.
Ready to sift through this with me? Since the actions in Texas and Pennsylvania could potentially affect all 50 states, let’s give a brief review a “go.”
Texas has filed suit against Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. When a state sues another state, it goes straight to the Supreme Court. There is no guarantee that SCOTUS will hear the case. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has offered to argue the case in front of SCOTUS. Cruz, a former solicitor general, previously argued 9 cases before the high court.
States cannot change a law by statute, only by a constitutional amendment in their respective states. We the People vote on constitutional amendments, so any workaround to avoid the amendment process is not legal.
State constitutions must agree with our US Constitution. States must follow federal law, but they must also follow their own laws (!) States cannot ignore the Supreme Court’s decisions.
Justice Samuel Alito ordered Pennsylvania to respond to Representative Mike Kelly’s election challenge that orders were not followed consistently throughout the state.
Something called “Act 77” in Pennsylvania is a violation of their own state constitution. States cannot act in a partisan manner. Instead, they must follow the state and federal Constitutions.
What to watch for-the possibilities:
Justice Alito could use an injunction preventing certification in PA.
Full arguments could take place before the full SCOTUS.
The high court may take action on briefs filed recently.
The Supreme Court could strike down Pennsylvania’s Act 77, and if they do, those ballots cannot be counted.
SCOTUS, if it upholds the PA ruling, may send a signal to the other states by saying that PA must send new electors. The judges could also say PA cannot send any electors as a result of their actions.
Additional actions the court could take:
The chain of custody of ballots must be legally established. If the chain of custody cannot be found, those ballots in question must be thrown out.
After certification, an election CAN be de-certified if the Supreme Court or lower court says that the state’s election is null and void due to constitutional violations.
The court could order votes to be separated into legal and illegal votes.
If the votes can’t be verified, they get thrown out.
The Supreme Court could suspend the process (although I don’t think this will happen. It could happen. It is my understanding that the election would go directly to the House of Representatives in that case).
Actions the state legislatures can take:
The State House and Senate can call themselves into session without a governor doing so.
The State House and Senate can refuse to certify an election.
The State House and Senate can send a different slate of electors to the Electoral College.
The State House and Senate can send no electors.
Disclaimer: Like many of you, I am not a lawyer. I am a citizen who tries to understand the law by applying common sense. It is my hope that the above is helpful in following events in the days ahead.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.??