Restore Rule Of Law To Elections
The 2020 presidential election is over, and it’s time to look ahead.
Looking ahead includes fully reviewing illegalities in the 2020 election, regardless of whether they changed the result, plus carefully and fairly restoring the rule of law to American elections, all with an eye toward preventing future illegalities no matter whom they’d benefit.
Such review and restoration will benefit from the constructive participation of Americans of all political persuasions, although beneficiaries of 2020 illegalities may be reluctant to have, much less participate constructively in, such review or restoration.
The 2020 illegalities are too numerous and too complex to chronicle in today’s column.
However, one of the many good sources so far on 2020 illegalities is Texas’s filings in the U.S. Supreme Court shortly after Election Day.
Readers of this column four weeks ago will recall that although the high court dismissed Texas’s complaint, that was because Texas lacked standing. In other words, whatever the merits of Texas’s claims, Texas may not bring them. That didn’t affect the merits of Texas’s assertions on 2020 illegalities.
Other good sources, chronicling many examples of 2020 illegalities, abound.
Nevertheless, some powers-that-be persist in (1) asserting illegalities were nonexistent or only insignificant and (2) turning on those who disagree.
Such powers-that-be are like those in Bertolt Brecht’s Leben des Galilei, the story of Galileo Galilei, a mathematician on whom powers-that-be turned for asserting the earth revolves around the sun.
One of them said that most important of all is that someone “show” Galilei the “instruments.”
Acknowledging the obvious double entendre, another of the powers-that-be agreed, adding that Galilei himself understands “instruments.”
Whatever “instruments” today’s powers-that-be use, they can’t change the truth. So don’t be discouraged if, for example, some social-media corporations unflatteringly tag – or perhaps block – columns such as this one.
Moreover, any review of 2020 illegalities or any restoration of the rule of law to American elections should acknowledge the irony that 2020 illegalities, while appearing to have overwhelmingly benefitted Democrat candidate Joe Biden, arose not only from actions by Democrats and Biden supporters but also from actions by others.
For example, readers of this column five weeks ago will recall that Pennsylvania violated its own constitution – and, by extension, the U.S. Constitution – by allowing any qualified Pennsylvania voter to cast a ballot without showing up at a polling place and voting in person.
Who passed that bill? Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled General Assembly.
Another example: Georgia’s executive branch – in settling a Democrat-backed lawsuit against state officials – violated the U.S. Constitution by usurping state legislators’ plenary power to establish the means of appointing presidential electors.
Who controls Georgia’s executive branch? Republicans. Who didn’t stop them? The Republican-controlled state Legislature.
As we continue to look ahead, any restoration of the rule of law to American elections will include more than legislation.
Many who say 2020 presidential-election challenges led to no result-affecting holdings overlook that improvements may have benefitted such challenges.
So next time court challenges regarding a presidential election are necessary, challengers might consider improvements:
¯ Some courts held 2020 presidential-election challenges filed after Election Day should have been filed beforehand.
Regardless of whether such holdings were correct, challengers should be able to avoid such problems by filing such challenges early enough beforehand so they can appeal as far as possible beforehand.
Some courts may then hold such challenges must be filed after Election Day. Very well. But then afterward, courts bound by such holdings shouldn’t hold such challenges should have been filed beforehand.
¯ Post-Election Day challenges regarding a presidential election should be filed as soon as possible afterward, and in every state where a problem arises, or at least in enough states to affect the election result. Challengers should appeal as soon as possible so they have time to get every possible challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Why? Because having enough challenges to affect the result may increase the likelihood that the high court will accept such challenges. And as in 2000, one can repeatedly lose in lower courts and then win in the high court. The high court may be the only court to issue result-affecting holdings.
Randy Elf joins those wanting to prevent future presidential-election illegalities no matter whom they’d benefit.
COPYRIGHT ç 2021 BY RANDY ELF.