Steven Calabresi is a co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society. He clerked for Judge Bork and Justice Scalia.
I have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, including voting for Donald Trump in 2016. I wrote op-eds and a law review article protesting what I believe was an unconstitutional investigation by Robert Mueller. I also wrote an op-ed opposing President Trump’s impeachment.
He voted for Trump, attacked the Mueller investigation and opposed the impeachment. This is no RINO.
I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.
Trump is actively working to undermine faith in the election process, because hs is behind. Calabresi points out:
The nation has faced grave challenges before, just as it does today with the spread of the coronavirus. But it has never canceled or delayed a presidential election. Not in 1864, when President Abraham Lincoln was expected to lose and the South looked as if it might defeat the North. Not in 1932 in the depths of the Great Depression. Not in 1944 during World War II.
If you can hold elections during a civil war and a world war, you can hold one now.
Election Day was fixed by a federal law passed in 1845, and the Constitution itself in the 20th Amendment specifies that the newly elected Congress meet at noon on Jan. 3, 2021, and that the terms of the president and vice president end at noon on Jan. 20, 2021. If no newly elected president is available, the speaker of the House of Representatives becomes acting president.
President Trump needs to be told by every Republican in Congress that he cannot postpone the federal election. Doing so would be illegal, unconstitutional and without precedent in American history. Anyone who says otherwise should never be elected to Congress again.
The law states the election will be on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Trump can’t change that.
Ironically if somehow he did manage to stop there being an election, he wouldn’t get to stay on. Nancy Pelosi would become Acting President on 20 January 2021 if there was no President-Elect or Vice-President-Elect.