In recent weeks, there has been much talk about how this election will go and what should happen if it does not go smoothly. Most of it begins with the novel coronavirus pandemic that still abounds in our more densely populated regions and pushes everyone to exercise caution about where, when, and even how they go anywhere.
Many are still fearful of going out in public for long periods and especially nervous about being in large crowds, which is often the case at various polling locations throughout the country. For the Democrats, there is an easy solution: mail-in voting.
This would offer everyone the chance to let their voice be heard while never having to leave the security of their home. And let’s face it, Dems have been pushing for mail-in voting en masse for quite some time.
However, as several state primaries have already proved, the process isn’t quite as easy as it was believed to be. In New York, for example, primaries took place on June 23. And a full six weeks later, the results are still not in regarding some races. And in other states, like Pennsylvania, the percentage of ballots that had to be thrown out is so large that it practically makes the entire election null and void.
These problems beg the question of what our general election will look like when all 52 states are voting and not just for the president but also hundreds of congressional seats.
President Trump has even raised the question that perhaps the election should be delayed to a time when the pandemic is not so prolific, and it is safer for people to be out in large numbers.
Of course, this notion was immediately met with ire from the Democratic left, even though presidential candidate Joe Biden has offered the same solution. Apparently, some ignorant lefties think if the election is delayed, that somehow that extends Trump’s time in office. However, as anyone can easily find out, that is not the case.
The first presidential term ends at high noon on January 20, no matter when the election takes place or even who wins or loses.
Another thing to note here is that it is not the president who has the power to delay such an election. Instead, Congress alone has that authority, as the provisions for the general election are written into the U.S. Constitution. And congressional leaders such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have already stated that delaying the vote will not happen.
However, let’s just say they did, or that because of the massive response election offices are bound to receive from mail-in ballots, a final result has not been reached by the January 20 deadline.
Who then would be in charge?
According to several on the left, including very left-leaning Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be named as acting president.
However, for all his constitutional knowledge, it seems Tribe and his followers have missed a few significant facts.
As I mentioned before, the Constitution states that January 20 is the end of the presidential term. As such, if a decision has not been made or if the sitting president loses, both the president and vice president must leave the White House.
It also states that the Speaker of the House would be next in line to assume command, which, as you know, is currently Nancy Pelosi. Under any other circumstances, this would make Tribe correct.
However, just as Trump’s term is about to end, so is Pelosi’s. And just like Trump, if she can not be voted back into office before her time is up, she too will be forced to leave her post.
And, therein lies Tribe’s error.
As it turns out, all 435 members of the House, including Pelosi, as well as 35 Senators are up for re-election this year. The end of their term is January 3, several weeks before, Trump’s. If the election is delayed or the results simply aren’t in by the end either term, neither Trump nor Pelosi will be able to take office.
So who’s next in line?
Well, per the Constitution, that would be the Senate president pro-tempore. Currently, this is Republican Chuck Grassley, who is not up for re-election until 2021. However, with only 65 senators left, and most of them Democrats, the body may choose to elect a new president pro-tempore.
And while this means we will have missed the bullet in the head that president Pelosi would be, it doesn’t exactly say we would be in for a much better solution.
In any case, Tribe is most definitely wrong. Personally, I think his Trump Derangement Syndrome is getting the better of him and making him lose it, just like Biden has.