There's a very short law that's causing a lot of angst right now.

With @bartongellman @FareedZakaria & more talking about 3 USC 2, let's take a look at why an attempt to use it simply to override voters' will would be unlawful. /1
Here's the whole law:

"Whenever any State has held an election for the purpose of choosing electors, and has failed to make a choice on the day prescribed by law, the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day in such a manner as the legislature of such State may direct." /2
The worry is that "Trump can pressure Republican-controlled legislatures to ignore the popular vote in their Democratic-leaning swing state & instead select an Electoral College slate that supports him," as @tribelaw @jentaub & I said in @TheAtlantic. /3…
But that attempt would be unlawful.

1st, a legislature's claim that Election Day "failed" is something a candidate who won the state's popular vote can & should challenge in court if it's unsupported.

My @ElectionTask colleagues & explain here. /4…
2nd, when the Constitution says states choose presidential electors "in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct," it means the legislature passes a law--which means governors get a veto. Legislatures can't do this alone.

@tribelaw @dorfonlaw: /5…
3rd, there's constitutional due process. "When the state legislature vests the right to vote for President in its people, the right to vote as the legislature has prescribed is fundamental."

That's from Bush v. Gore & it means a legislature can't override the people's vote. /6
It's important that to discuss these issues, because Trump seems willing to play dirty to cling to power.

Let's make sure that even as we warn of foul play we explain why those moves would violate the law.

Because, ultimately, we may need judges & more to enforce that law. /END

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Joshua A. Geltzer

Joshua A. Geltzer Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @jgeltzer

17 Oct

How to ensure accountability for the Trump era is a hard, important, & hopefully urgent question.

@PostOutlook just published a great set of essays diving deep into the topic.

Here’s a quick look: /1
Historian Sam Tanenhaus explains why post-Trump accountability is essential for the country to move forward. /2…
Historian Jill Lepore urges forgoing a truth commission in favor of leaving the judgment to future historians. /3…
Read 6 tweets
12 Oct

This 👇 was 3 years ago today.

My @GeorgetownICAP colleagues & I, alongside @MikeSigner & more, sued the unlawful militias that had contributed to violence in Charlottesville exactly 2 months earlier.

And it began a journey that continues. /1…
A few months after filing our Charlottesville suit, we at @GeorgetownICAP published a catalogue of state laws that prevent unlawful, unsanctioned private armies.

Here's the current version of that report, updated to reflect today's state laws: /2…
We've continued to sue unlawful militias that endanger public safety & chill the exercise of 1st Amendment free expression.

For example, we at @GeorgetownICAP teamed up with @BerncoDa to prevent the unlawful activity of the "New Mexico Civil Guard": /3…
Read 7 tweets
25 Sep

Friday marks exactly 1 year since Americans read the 5 words that will forever define the Trump presidency:

"Do us a favor though."

Here's a quick look at how Trump's quid-pro-quo presidency remains alive & (un)well today. /1…
"A president who abused the public trust for his personal benefit" defined what got Trump impeached, as @neal_katyal & I said.

"For a president to exploit for private political gain the tools of national power placed in his or her hands" was appalling. /2…
But Trump didn't stop there.

Faced with a deadly pandemic, Trump played "states off 1 another for his affection, rewarding the generally Republican (or swing) states whose governors grovel at Trump’s feet."

Trump's quid-pro-quo presidency cost lives. /3…
Read 5 tweets
24 Sep

There's a lot of concern right now about Trump & how he might handle an election loss after @bartongellman's article & the terrible answer Trump gave to @BrianKarem.

But we're not powerless to ensure a peaceful transfer if Trump loses.

Here's what can be done now. /1
1st, Electoral College reps, Members of Congress, governors, & Defense Department leadership can pledge to abide by election results regardless of any single candidate's claims otherwise.

I called for this in Feb. 2019 via @CNNOpinion. /2…
2nd, Trump can't resist an election loss alone--he'd need enablers.

And there are laws that stop others from using executive branch authorities for anyone but the legitimate president.

@tribelaw, Chris Fonzone & I explained via @PostEverything. /3…
Read 6 tweets
8 Sep

Wednesday marks 1 year since 9/9/19, when the Intelligence Community's Inspector General notified Congress he'd received an "urgent concern" from a whistleblower & deemed it credible.

That set in motion Trump's impeachment.

Would it today? /1…
The Intelligence Community's Inspector General who took seriously the whistleblower's complaint, persevered when Trump's White House & Justice Department tried to bury it, & ensured Congress learned of it has been forced out by Trump. /2…
The Acting Director of National Intelligence who initially blocked his Inspector General from sharing with Congress the whistleblower complaint but then allowed it to be shared also has been forced out by Trump--replaced by a Trump loyalist. /3…
Read 6 tweets
28 Aug

There are steps that state & local officials can take, right now, relying on laws already on the books, to protect Americans from the threat posed by unlawful private militias.

Here's a quick guide based on work led by Mary McCord & our @GeorgetownICAP colleagues. /1
1st, there's litigation: faced with unlawful private militia activity, officials can file civil suits seeking court orders preventing such activity from reoccurring.

That's what @GeorgetownICAP did in Charlottesville alongside @MikeSigner & more. /2…
Litigation is also the approach @GeorgetownICAP is using now alongside @BerncoDa to address the threat posed by the New Mexico Civil Guard.

Here's recent coverage by @joshscampbell: /3…
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!