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Fri Apr 3, 2020, 01:57 AM

Can Trump Postpone the Election?

"...Now that many states have moved their primaries to May or June, people are starting to ask if Donald Trump could postpone the Nov. 3 election until next year. The short answer, which we've talked about before, is: "No." The long answer, which we've also talked about before, is: "Also no, but with an explanation." First, Election Day is set by federal law. This year it is Nov. 3. It would take an act of Congress to change it, and House Democrats are not going to sign off on a change. Second, the terms of the president and vice president expire at noon on Jan. 20, 2021. Period. No matter what. If no president and vice president have been selected according to law by then, the normal rules of succession kick in. If the House has elected a new Speaker, he or she becomes president. Otherwise, it is the president pro tempore of the Senate.

But the real reason Trump can't postpone the election is that it is not controlled by the federal government. It is controlled by the 50 states and Washington, DC. The only thing that is definite is that the presidential electors will meet in their respective state capitals on Dec. 14 to cast their electoral votes. Beyond that, things get a little fuzzy, since there are 50 different states (plus Washington, DC) with different sets of rules, and different political situations. So, there are a whole bunch of ways this could theoretically play out. However, it's hard to come up with one that produces the result Trump would be looking for, namely short-circuiting the system in order to secure his reelection...."

Source: https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2020/Pres/Maps/Apr02.html#item-3

I really enjoy Electoral-Vote.com They are very good at explaining how the political processes function.

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Reply Can Trump Postpone the Election? (Original post)
S.E. TN Liberal Apr 2020 OP
RandySF Apr 2020 #1
Hortensis Apr 2020 #2
Gothmog Apr 2020 #3
S.E. TN Liberal Apr 2020 #4

Response to S.E. TN Liberal (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 02:24 AM

1. No

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Response to S.E. TN Liberal (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 03:26 AM

2. "If no president/VP has been elected...normal rules of succession kick in."

This is the answer to all those "what if he refuses to go questions." Assuming we keep the house, Nancy Pelosi would succeed.

The senate president pro tempore thing is the kicker. It just goes to the LONGEST-SERVING member of the majority party. (!)

For Republicans, that'd be massively corrupt President Chuck Grassley, now 86.

If Democrats got a majority in the senate, it'd be President Patrick Leahy, now 80. Next after him, if for instance he decided to resign rather than take on the rigors of the job, would come President Dianne Feinstein, now 86.

They didn't have antibiotics in the 1780s, and epidemic diseases actually rather often ravaged families and communities, making one think this one could have been given more thought. Of course, they also didn't have stents and beta blockers, and longest-serving would have been assumed to equate to experience more than to extremely long in tooth. Our earliest congresses averaged quite young -- their fathers sent them and remained at home to run things there.

One thing we can be sure of, all this is being/has been extensively considered by the leaderships of both parties.

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Response to S.E. TN Liberal (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 02:11 PM

3. No, trump cannnot move the general election

Marc Elias is one of the top election law attorneys in the country and was the head of the Clinton Victory Counsel program. Marc has been busy suing to expand voting rights including a couple of lawsuits in Texas

We are three months into a major presidential election year and in the middle of a global pandemic. Not surprisingly, I am getting a lot of questions — from family, friends, reporters, political consultants, even from Members of Congress — about the impact that all of this may have on our elections. But there is one question that I get asked more than any other: is there any way—at all—that Trump can legally cancel or postpone the November General Election?

The answer is clearly no.

The president has no legal authority to change the date of federal elections — period. And though one court — one time — found that a congressional election, in part of one state, could be postponed by a few weeks, the circumstances under which the court found that was warranted does not apply in 2020 and could never apply to the office of the president.

With respect to congressional elections, the Constitution gives states the power to set the “times, places and manner” of elections, subject to Congress’s ultimate authority to “make or alter” state regulations. This means that while states have the power to enact rules around how elections for federal office are run, ultimately Congress can overrule the states. Congress has used this power in a number of ways including requiring states to ensure that military and overseas voters receive mail ballots in time for them to be able to vote.

Most importantly, more than 100 years ago, Congress set, by federal statute, the date on which congressional elections are to be held as the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. Neither the president nor a state can alter or postpone that date and only once has a court done so.

The only time a congressional general election was postponed was in 1982, when a federal district court in Washington, DC struck down two Georgia congressional districts under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. With the election nearing, the court postponed the general election to later in November for those districts. Among its reasons, that Section 5 of the VRA, like the Election Day law, was an Act of Congress—and a more recent one. To read the two federal laws in harmony, the court found that the postponement was consistent with federal law, policy, and the U.S. Constitution. Sadly, since that ruling, the Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula that is used for Section 5 preclearance. Thus, even that limited historical exception could not happen today.

With respect to the presidential general election, things are even clearer. The Constitution provides that “the Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.” In 1845, Congress enacted a statute to exercise its power to set a uniform date for “choosing” electors: “The electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed, in each State, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every fourth year succeeding every election of a President and Vice President.”

This year that day is November 3: no statute provides authority for postponing or rescheduling the “time of choosing the electors” determined by Congress—that is, for postponing an election past November 3, 2020.

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 02:24 PM

4. I believe he cannot but...

...the turd is famous for disregarding the laws. Would you be surprised if he tried to delay the election?

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