I apologize for posting this a day late. Unlike those in the Constitutional Convention, I think summer vacations are essential! After having completed the debate on representation discussed in our previous posts, they began another difficult debate about the strength of the executive. Whereas the debate about representation mostly centered on questions of interest, rather than those of principle, the debate about executive power was much more theoretical. Governeur Morris demonstrated once again his mastery in this Convention by beginning the debate with a vigorous case for a vigorous executive. At this point, a strong executive was tremendously controversial. As … Continue reading July 19: Executive Strength, Independence, and Re-eligibility
The New York Times reports this morning that former Vice President Mike Pence defended his role in (the article’s word, not Pence’s) “certifying” the results of the 2020 presidential election. As I’ve written here before, the Vice President, like the Congress, has no such power. Constitutionally, the Vice President presides over the counting of Electoral College ballots; the winner “shall be” the president. The semantics matter. Presiding is a passive role; “certifying” suggests the candidate with a majority of electoral votes becomes President-Elect only after some affirming act on the part of Congress or the Vice President. Pence deserves credit … Continue reading More on the Supposed Certification of Electoral College Votes
There is growing angst (see, for example, here and here) that a Republican House and Senate would refuse to certify the results of the 2024 presidential election if they are dissatisfied with the outcome. The concern, which has ample basis in the Trump tautology that any election he loses was rigged because he lost it, presents some interesting constitutional questions. The Constitution itself assigns Congress no role in counting electoral ballots other than witnessing the procedure. The procedure for objecting to electoral votes is entirely statutory. The 12th Amendment is clear on the passivity of Congress’ role: The President of the Senate shall, in the presence … Continue reading Congress’ Authority to Certify Presidential Elections is a Phantasm
On the afternoon of January 6 (and perhaps for some time after), we will observe yet another unusual feature of the American constitutional system. Continue reading Why Does Congress Count the Electoral Votes?, by Keith E. Whittington
In this post, Dr. Greg Weiner engages with the ideas raised by Dr. Tulis in his article “Trump’s ‘Hail Mary’ Pass” regarding the future of the Electoral College. Continue reading Thoughts on the Electoral College
Is Donald Trump’s strategy of pressuring states in their choice of electors a legitimate “Hail Mary” plan to secure a second term? Dr. Jeffery Tulis thinks not. In this article, Tulis challenges his readers to “engage in a broader constitutional conversation than is common for the judiciary” when thinking about the role of the Electoral College.
Continue reading Trump’s “Hail Mary” Pass