Sunday, October 31, 2021

When In Worry, When In Doubt

Run in circles, scream and shout:

Members of the January 6 committee are working on potential legislation to tighten the process of certifying a presidential election in an effort to eliminate contentious avenues that spurred the January 6 riot, sources tell CNN.

The legislation would give the committee a focus on developing a law as part of the investigation, undercutting a legal argument that former President Donald Trump has made that the committee has no true legislative purpose for seeking his White House documents.

The effort is still in its early stages, but a proposed bill could offer more specific instructions for when Congress can overturn a state's slate of electors, and more clearly define the role the vice president plays in counting the votes -- after Trump and his allies pressured Mike Pence to try to block President Joe Biden's win, the sources say.

So the House Select Committee is likely to propose amendments to the Electoral Count Act, the one that governed the January 6th joint session. Which is good and necessary but also points to the fact Congress is perfectly capable of blunting any attempt by Trump & Co. to monkey with the electoral slates.

As a reminder, it was the ECA that the Court relied on to overrule Florida’s recount, one that had been ordered by the Florida Supreme Court pursuant to Florida law. So it won’t be hard to write a law requiring states to appoint electors based on the vote count, rather than whatever other method the states want to use (arguably that was exactly the issue in Bush v. Gore, where Florida’s recount statute conflicted with Federal law.).

We are not, in other words, doomed.  There are perfectly good solutions to the nonsense that occurred in 2020, and perfectly good ways to prevent it happening again.  Not that the courts showed any interest in it anyway.  But bolstering the ECA to both make it clear the VP can't reject the electoral college tally and to block states from playing fast and loose with popular vote results (like ignoring them because they just want to) would not be a bad thing.

The trampling of democracy will continue to be the concern of small minds who want something to be scared of.  The rest of us can enjoy the holidays.

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