Many people were also surprised to find that Trump’s good partner, Vice President Mike Pence, sued to court. What on earth is happening?
The day of the joint congressional meeting on January 6 is getting closer. Many people who are concerned about the US election are following the news, not knowing what will happen in the next moment.
Rep. Texas sued Mike Pence and asked the judge to authorize him to overturn the election result
Representative and attorney Louie Gohmert of the Republican Party of Texas filed a lawsuit against Pence. Gomert hopes that a federal judge can overturn the “Electoral Count Act” of 1887 and authorize Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election so that the results will benefit President Trump. The Arizona Republican Party also joined the lawsuit.
The lawsuit said that if Mike Pence confirmed the current voting results of the Electoral College and declared Biden’s victory at the joint meeting of Congress on January 6, these actions would be fraudulent.
The court should decide:
- Whether Mike Pence, as the president of the Senate, only needs to comply with the requirements of the 12th Amendment to the Constitution and, upon request, exercise the “exclusive power” to determine the number of electors in a certain state and “Single discretion”
- Whether Mike Pence must be ignored and does not have to comply with any provisions of the “Electoral Count Act”, because this clause will limit the exclusive power and sole discretion granted to Mike Pence by the Constitution to determine the count.
What will happen to the joint meeting of Congress on January 6th?
From the content of this complaint, we can know that Congressman Gomert’s complaint is related to the joint congressional meeting held on January 6, and Vice President Pence will chair as the president of the Senate. On the same day, Congress will count the electoral college votes in 50 states and territories to confirm the next US president.
The lawsuit also mentioned two key laws, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution and the Electoral Counting Law. We will talk in detail later about what they stipulate and what conflicts there are.
Now, let’s take a look at what will happen in this joint meeting.
Normally, at 1 p.m. that day, members of the Senate and House of Representatives will gather in the Chamber of the House of Representatives. Mike Pence will preside over the meeting and open the sealed certificates submitted by the states. With reference to other elections held recently, this process generally takes less than half an hour.
But will the joint meeting on January 6 follow this simple agenda? It now appears that it is completely impossible.
First of all, everyone must have heard about all kinds of fraud in the 2020 election. For example, election observers are blocked from scrutinizing votes, dead people voting, ineligible voters to vote, ghost votes in the middle of the night, mysterious ballots in a suitcase under the table,…
In response to these fraud problems that have not been resolved by the investigation, on December 14, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada all produced “double electoral.” In addition to the electoral votes of Democrats elected by the state government, Republicans who questioned election fraud also cast their own “alternative” electoral votes.
In addition, Alabama’s Rep. Mo Brooks and many other Republican congressmen have stated that they will challenge the Swing State Electoral College vote on January 6. Both Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul also indicated that they might join, but they have not yet issued a public statement.
Therefore, the joint meeting on January 6 became a focal point, and Pence, who presided over the meeting, became a very key figure. What rights does Pence have? Can he win the election for Trump with one person?
How does the “12th Amendment” of the Constitution stipulate Mike Pence’s power?
Let’s talk about the two key laws mentioned in the complaint. They are the 12th Amendment to the Constitution and the Electoral Counting Act passed in 1887, because Pence had to act in accordance with the law that day. There must be a legal basis for what you want to do and how to choose.
According to the statement in the complaint, the “Election Counting Act” restricts the “exclusive power” and “the sole discretion” granted to Pence by the Twelfth Amendment. What Pence should defend is the constitution and cannot comply with the Electoral Count Law.
What are the specific provisions of the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution?
The “Amendment” states, “(At the joint meeting), the President of the U.S. Senate will open all the certifications (submitted by the Electoral College) in the presence of members of the Senate and House of Representatives, and then all the votes will be counted.”
Please note that the second half sentence “then all votes are counted” is in the passive voice, instead of following the first half sentence, it is directly said that the president of the Senate will count the votes. Here is a question: Who counts the votes? This has also led to different interpretations of the constitution.
The interpretation of Edward B. Foley, a law professor and electoral scholar in the United States, is: The President of the Senate is the only federal government official who opens the certification letter and counts and certifies these electoral college votes, while members of the Senate and House of Representatives only act as witnesses. They exist to ensure the transparency of this process and do not participate in the counting of votes for the Electoral College.
On December 26, American conservative commentator Ted Noel wrote in the American Thinker that Pence’s power in the joint meeting will be “plenary and unappeasable.” All objections will be raised directly to him, and he can rule that any objection is “not in compliance with the procedure” or “rejected.”
Noel said that according to the Constitution, legal elections only allow counting of valid and legal votes, that is to say, only qualified voters who are registered correctly can be counted, fill in and submit ballots in a suitable manner in a suitable manner. Any election that does not comply with these laws is illegal.
He used Georgia as an example. The local election regulations include: the need to authenticate the voter’s signature on absentee ballots; all absentee ballots must be sent out after receiving applications from legitimate voters; and during the ballot counting process, there must be scrutiny. The staff conducts meaningful scrutiny on the spot.
However, Georgia’s Secretary of State Ravensperger cancelled the provisions set by the state legislature to protect the security of the general election and changed the state to follow his instructions, thus violating state laws. Surveillance video shows that thousands of so-called “ballots” were counted and read illegally without legal scrutineers.
He said that Mike Pence can do this by analyzing the reasons why the results of the swing state elections are not legal, and then refuse to certify the presidential candidates selected by the electoral colleges in these states.
As long as the disputed 84 electoral votes in the swing state are removed, Trump will win 232 electoral votes; Biden will win 222 electoral votes. According to the “Second Amendment” of the U.S. Constitution, Trump will once again enter the White House on the principle that the one with more votes wins.
The “Electoral Count Law” conflicts with the “Twelfth Amendment”?
However, good things are hard to come by, everything is not so smooth. Didn’t Congressman Gomert mention an “Electoral Count Law” in the lawsuit?
The “Electoral Count Act” is a US federal law passed in 1887. In the 1876 presidential election before that, multiple states submitted different lists of “electors”, and the divided Congress was unable to resolve the deadlock in a few weeks. In the presidential elections of 1880 and 1884, there was a situation where electoral disputes would provoke Congress.
Therefore, after years of discussion, Congress passed the “Electoral Count Act” in 1887, with the purpose of minimizing Congress’ participation in election disputes and assigning the main responsibility for resolving disputes to states. For example, this law stipulates the procedures and deadlines that states should follow when resolving disputes, verifying results, and sending results to Congress.
If a state follows these “safe harbor” standards and the governor properly submits a set of electoral votes, then the result of the submitted electoral votes should be a “final” decision. In other words, when the electoral votes are delivered to Congress, it is almost a “foregone conclusion”, and Mike Pence has really become the “pure moderator” of the meeting, and almost can only issue votes.
In fact, this “Electoral Count Law” has been criticized by many constitutional scholars. For example, it is unclear and self-contradictory, which can easily lead to different interpretations.
The US “Atlantic” magazine published an article on September 9 this year, “Some experts worry that this 133-year-old relic of the United States Code may endanger the entire Republic,” “No one has ever clarified the ambiguity, and no one has gone. Modify or update it”.
The article also quoted a report written by a group of legal scholars at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) in April of this year, which mentioned that this law is an “ambiguous quagmire, which is completely opposite to what the (current) situation requires. “.
In addition to these problems, there have been a lot of abnormalities in this year’s elections. Within the deadlines given in the “Electoral Count Law,” can all investigations be fully carried out and results obtained? The facts of this general election proved that it was impossible.
Constitutional supremacy Mike Pence has absolute authority in the joint conference
After talking about the two laws involved, we will come back to a basic principle, that is, “the constitution is supreme.” With the powers granted by the Constitution, Mike Pence can reject the votes of the Democratic Electoral College of the disputed state.
The conservative commentator Noel mentioned earlier said in the article that as the Speaker of the U.S. Senate, Vice President Pence’s responsibility at the January 6 joint meeting is to “fulfill his oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution. To ensure that the law is faithfully enforced.”
So, what is Mike Pence’s position? He has expressed firm support for Trump in many public occasions. For example, on November 10th, he tweeted that “will continue to fight until every legal ballot for the president is counted.”
On November 14, he stated in a speech in Virginia that he and Trump will continue to fight for the integrity and authenticity of the election, revealing that he and Trump plan to stay in the White House for another four years.
On December 17, he said at a rally in Georgia that he would continue to fight with the president until every illegal vote was eliminated.
Of course, many people were disappointed that Mike Pence had not rejected the controversial electoral vote certification as of December 23, and doubted whether he was quite Trump. Mike Pence has been pushed to the cusp of the storm, and he must have a lot of concerns: party interests, pressure from the deep government, self-preservation, etc.
As for President Trump, on December 27th, he once again called on his supporters to go to Washington to participate in a grand rally on January 6. At that time, the surging public opinion outside Congress may encourage Mike Pence and affect his choice.