(Sept. 23) Several true but easy conclusions suggest themselves regarding two stories out this week about the Trump campaign’s attempts to overturn last year’s presidential election. Rather than just look backward, though, let’s focus forward toward a cure.

The cure would be one that everybody on the political spectrum should agree on, even if details remain to be worked out. The cure is to reform the Electoral Count Act, which is written in an absurdly confusing fashion and has always been of questionable constitutionality.

Before explaining why the ECA needs a complete overhaul, consider the two new stories. First, the New York Times reported the Trump campaign already knew it was hogwash when it held a press conference alleging a voting machine company worked with radical financier George Soros and communist Venezuela to steal the presidential contest. The campaign pushed the conspiracy theory anyway. The obvious goal was to create confusion and distrust widespread enough that former President Donald Trump could convince state legislatures, or eventually the vice president, to somehow overturn the election results.

When legislatures didn’t comply, Trump turned his fire on his own vice president, Mike Pence. The second new story shows the lengths to which the president and a heretofore respected attorney went to convince Pence, on his own authority, to reject the outcome determined by 158,383,403 voters.

Lawyer John Eastman wrote a six-point memo outlining a procedure whereby, he argued, Pence could unilaterally declare that because seven different states had presented two competing slates of presidential electors (itself a highly misleading claim), he would declare the states had submitted no “valid” slates at all — meaning Biden lacked an electoral majority.

According to the Constitution’s 12th Amendment, a presidential election producing no electoral-vote majority would go to the House, in which Republicans controlled enough state delegations to win the day and reelect Trump.

Fortunately, Pence consulted former federal judge J. Michael Luttig (who was many conservatives’ favored choice for the Supreme Court when President George W. Bush chose John Roberts instead). …. [The full column is at this link.]


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