Skip to comments.Could Hurricane Sandy delay the election?
Posted on 10/30/2012 11:58:36 AM PDT by JOAT
A 2004 Congressional Research Service report notes that there is no constitutional instruction or federal law on postponing a federal election.
However, the report theorizes that presidential emergency power could be used to delay an election -- specifically, if "attacks, disruptions and destruction are so severe and so dangerous in certain localities, particularly in crowded urban areas, that the President under a rule of necessity may look to protect the public safety by federalizing State national guard and restricting movement and activities in such areas which would obviously affect the ability to conduct an election at those sites."
Congress could also theoretically step in and pass a law or give that power to the president, the report says. Courts have typically left it up to Congress to set election procedures.
(Excerpt) Read more at connectmidmissouri.com ...
As I said, it is possible to argue about the application of the final clause.
I contend that it would be a bit strange to allow the selection of the electors to be open to influence based on the results of the elections in other states, but that each state’s electors must meet and select the president on the same day, i.e. not open to influence.
But I concede that the grammatical arguments are also compelling.
As you stated, it is, at least for the moment, moot. Congress did set a specific date for both and there is no “wiggle” room.
One final point though - in your original post, you mentioned a Paragraph from the USC regarding the failure to choose electors. IIRC, that paragraph stated that an election has been conducted, but the electors could not be chosen *on that day* and therefore the Legislature was to choose the Electors. That Paragraph would not apply here as the election itself would not have taken place.
TBH, if one or more states are unable to hold an election (due to such circumstances as a natural disaster), the executive should be able to adjust the date, within reason. Of course, the Congress should be the ones charged with doing so - but the quibbling there would likely take longer than would be justified. Then again, in today’s political environment - such an action, even if justified in the exes of a reasonable person - would cause a s***storm!
Let’s just hope things go off smoothly.
Another crisis “too good to waste,” eh?
I would appreciate your insights on this article and the potential ramifications of the election(s) being postponed.
Congress will not act because the Republicans who control the house will not countenance a solution which favors Obama and the Democrats in the Senate will not submit to a solution which favors Romney. Therefore, Congress will not act.
Will the executive act? He has no constitutional authority whatsoever to do so. He has no inherent authority anywhere in the Constitution do so. This does not come under the rubric of commander-in-chief exercising war powers such as did Abraham Lincoln. By next Sunday at least much of the debris will of been cleared away, much of the electricity will and been restored, and much of the situation will have been cleared up. The impediments to voting will be much reduced and the states will by then have put in place emergency voting procedures which compensate for the lack of mobility or the lack of electricity in the most affected places in a few states. Therefore, there will be no general consensus for the president to convert the election into a coup. He will have to do so in the teeth of an outraged country which will see no practical reason to do so.
The courts, however, are a different story. They are, as we have seen, quite capable of dipping into various corners of the Constitution to find justification for doing what they want to do. Add to that the ability of the administration to forum shop and find a left-wing judge and they might well get intrusive orders from the federal courts based on voting rights of minorities, the poor, or other favored identity groups, finding that their constitutional right to vote has been impaired and therefore the state must set a new voting date etc. This then starts a scramble reminiscent of Bush vs. Gore to find a higher court which will set the matter right. There is no way of gaming this scenario.
I think as a practical matter, however, by the time a desperate Obama tries either route, executive order or a complaisant judge, the debris and the confusion will have largely been cleared away and even he would shrink from such a usurpation in view of the fact that the election so far has demonstrated absence of popular support. He is Hugo Chavez but his barrio is much smaller than Chavez'.
i wanted to say two seperate things. first, biden on postponing elections:
“I think that is the worst idea in the world,” Biden said in a 2004 interview on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” according to a transcript. “Essentially acknowledging to the whole world we think we’re going to be attacked before this happens, I think it is absolutely mindless with all due respect.” did biden really say something i agree with???
second, people have been saying for 4 years obama was going to appoint himself dictator, i say that only half believing he would do it.
“on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November”
it depends on what your definition of “next” is
THANK YOU! ~ lyby