Every four years, all of the states in The United States engage in our election process. A process that takes place by law, on the 1st Tuesday of November in all of the states. That law was established by Congress in 1845. It cannot be changed by anyone or any individual state. The only way to change the date is by an act of Congress (both houses) and that does not appear likely — considering that each of the two major parties holds the majority in one house. While “Moscow Mitch” McConnell may agree to be complicit with President Trump and agree to such a move, it is highly doubtful Nancy Pelosi would ever even entertain the idea. When it comes to Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney-Barrett, no one is quite sure what she would go along with.
The basic premise of “we have an election on the 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November and no one can change that except Congress” is one that is known by most Americans. Surely, one doesn’t even need to go to law school to clearly interpret that very clear and spelled out federal law.
In her confirmation hearing on Tuesday, nominee Amy Coney-Barrett showed that she either doesn’t know the law, or is just “playing dumb” for the benefit of the one who nominated her — President Trump.
Coney-Barrett was asked point-blank about that law by Senator Diane Feinstein. She balked in what many observers think was a very strange answer to such a simple question.
Feinstein: Does federal law, under any circumstances, allow a president to delay an election?
Coney Barrett: Senator, if that question ever came before me, I would need to hear arguments from the litigants, and read briefs, and consult with my law clerks, and talk to my colleagues, and go through the opinion-writing process. If I gave off-the-cuff answers I would be basically a legal pundit and I don’t think we want judges to be legal pundits, I think we want judges to approach cases thoughtfully and with an open mind.
While that might seem thoughtful and elegant, the actual answer to the question isn’t nearly so “wordy.” In fact, it only requires one word in response.
That word is “no.”
It isn’t a matter of opinions, precedents, or anything else. This is about as easy of a question to answer in the legal realm as it comes. The answer is no — period.
In ducking this question, one has to wonder, despite her denials, if she is in the tank for President Trump. It suggests that perhaps she and the President have an understanding. While this might seem an outrageous scenario in “normal times,” under this president, it seems more par for the course. After all, Trump has been known to demand “loyalty oaths” from people who work in the administration. Those who dare defy him have found themselves quickly removed and the victim of Trump’s verbal abuse via Twitter on a regular basis.
Coney Barrett has less than three years on the bench. That alone disqualifies her in some people’s eyes. If that doesn’t, the fact that she can’t answer this basic legal question about our election day should disqualify her from a seat on the highest court in the land.