Now that President Donald Trump and the Republicans have exhausted all of their legal challenges to the legitimacy of the 2020 election, some GOP members of the House are reportedly planning a last-ditch effort that would deny a transfer of executive power to Joe Biden on January 21 of next year, according to the New York Times:
“As the president continues to refuse to concede, a small group of his most loyal backers in Congress are plotting a final-stage challenge on the floor of the House of Representatives in early January to try to reverse Mr. Biden’s victory. Constitutional scholars and even members of the president’s own party say the effort is all but certain to fail. But the looming battle on Jan. 6 is likely to culminate in a messy and deeply divisive spectacle that could thrust Vice President Mike Pence into the excruciating position of having to declare once and for all that Mr. Trump has indeed lost the election.”
This legislative maneuver is being led by Rep. Moe Brooks (R-AL), who has marched in lockstep with Trump and his unproven claims of voter fraud without presenting a sliver of evidence. According to Brooks:
“We have a superior role under the Constitution than the Supreme Court does, than any federal court judge does, than any state court judge does. What we say, goes. That’s the final verdict.”
Is that true? Sort of, but not the way Brooks presents it.
The U.S. Constitution does indeed give Congress a role in the election of a president, but what Brooks is proposing is doomed to failure, the Times notes:
“Under rules laid out in the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act of 1887, their challenges must be submitted in writing with a senator’s signature also affixed,” with the likelihood that either Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) or Rand Paul (R-KY) might step up.
“Once an objection is heard from a member of each house of Congress, senators and representatives will retreat to their chambers on opposite sides of the Capitol for a two-hour debate and then a vote on whether to disqualify a state’s votes. Both the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate would have to agree to toss out a state’s electoral votes — something that has not happened since the 19th century.”
What are the chances the House would agree to such a sham? Zero.
Also, the idea Brooks is proposing could put Vice President Mike Pence in a very difficult position:
“As president of the Senate, he has the constitutionally-designated task of opening and tallying envelopes sent from all 50 states and announcing their electoral results. But given Mr. Trump’s penchant for testing every law and norm in Washington, he could insist that Mr. Pence refuse to play that role. And either way, it will call for a final performance of the delicate dance Mr. Pence has performed for past four years, trying to maintain Mr. Trump’s confidence while adhering to the law.”
Additionally, if Brooks and the GOP insist on questioning the will of the voters, it could well taint them for decades to come.
Joe Biden is the legally elected 46th president. If Republicans continue to play games with that outcome, they deserve whatever negative consequences befall them.
Featured Image Via NBC News