Republican leaders in four important states, won by President-Elect Joe Biden, say they will not participate in a legally dubious plan to flip their state electors to vote for President Donald Trump. His comments effectively closed a half-baked plot some Republicans called as one last chance to keep Trump in the White House.
State GOP lawmakers in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have said they will not interfere in the selection of voters who ultimately cast the vote that secured a candidate’s victory. Such a move would violate state law and a vote of the people, several noted.
Rusty Bowers, Speaker of the Republican House of Arizona, said, “I couldn’t find some sort of fraud that I haven’t heard of anything about – I don’t see us addressing the change in voters in any serious way.” ” He says that he came with an email to the legislature pleading to intervene. “They are mandated by law to choose according to the vote of the people.”
The idea loosely includes GOP-controlled methods, rejecting Biden’s popular vote victory in his states and electing Trump electors. While the endgame was unclear, it hinged on the expectation that the conservative-leaning Supreme Court would settle any dispute over the move.
Nevertheless, it has been promoted by Trump aides, including the Florida government. Ron DeSantis, and is an example of misleading information and false claims among Trump supporters about the integrity of the vote.
The principle lies in the fact that the US Constitution empowers state legislatures to decide how electors are elected. Each state has already passed laws that delegate this power to voters and appoints electors for whichever candidate wins the state on election day. The only opportunity for the state legislature to engage with electors then is a provision in federal law if it allows the actual election to “fail”.
If the election results were not clear in mid-December, then the Republican-controlled legislatures in those states could declare that Trump won and appointed electors who supported him, at the voters’ naming deadline. Or so the theory goes.
The problem, noted legal experts, is by no means clear the outcome of the election. Biden won all the states. When Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security reported that it had not been tampered with and “was the most secure in American history”, it is difficult to “fail” the election. There has been no detection of widespread fraud or problems in counting votes, reflecting Biden Trump by more than 5 million votes nationally.
Trump’s campaign and his allies have filed lawsuits aimed at delaying certification and providing evidence for a potentially failed election. But so far, Trump and Republicans have had little success – the courts have dismissed at least 10 lawsuits in the 10 days since the election. Most important is to ask courts to prevent Michigan and Pennsylvania from certifying Biden as the winner of their election.
But legal experts say it is impossible for the courts to eventually hold those states from electing them until the December deadline.
“This would be the most inappropriate and bizarre intervention by the courts that this country has ever seen,” said Danielle Lang of the Campaign Legal Center. “I haven’t seen anything in any of those lawsuits that have any sort of merit – enough to delay appointing voters alone.”
Even if Trump won a single-court battle, there is another major blocker: Congress would be the ultimate arbitrator to accept voters submitted by Republican legislators. If the Democratic-controlled House and GOP-controlled Senate could not agree on which voters to accept and who became president, President Trump would eventually pass the next person in the line of successor and vice-president Mike Pence. The term will be on January. 20. It will be Nancy Pelosi, a House of Democrats.
“If it’s a strategy, I don’t think it will succeed,” said Edward Foley, a constitutional law professor at Ohio State University. “I think we are in the realm of imagination here.”
But unfounded claims about fraud and corruption have been widely circulating in conservative circles since Biden won the election. GOP Sen, when asked this week whether state lawmakers should invalidate official results. “Everything should be on the table,” said Lindsey Graham.
DeSantis urged Pennsylvania and Michigan residents to call state lawmakers and intervene. “Under Article 2 of the Constitution, presidential elections are conducted by legislators and the plans and frameworks made by them. And if there is a departure, if they are not following the law, if they are ignoring the law, they can also provide treatment, ”he said.
Republican lawmakers, however, appear to be holding steady. Republican Legislative Leaders, State Sen. Jake Corman and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff wrote, “The Pennsylvania General Assembly will have no hand in choosing the state’s presidential elections or deciding the outcome of the presidential election.” October op-ed. Their offices said that Friday they stand by the statement.
Republican legislator Robin Voss of the Wisconsin Assembly has long rejected the idea, and his spokesman, Kit Baird, said he stood by that position on Thursday.
In Michigan, legislative leaders say that any intervention would be against state law. Even though the GOP-controlled legislature is investigating the election, State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirke told radio station WJR on Friday, “It is unlikely that our analysis will change the results.”
Associated Press writers Scott Bauer in Madison, David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan. Pa Lewis in Harrisburg, Pa., Alana Durkan Richer in Boston and Deb Reichman in Washington, DC contributed to this report.