[Vision2020] What if . . .

Ron Force ronforce at gmail.com
Sun Mar 22 13:12:27 PDT 2020

Here's a recent discussion from the blog* Marginal Revolution:*

Will the November 2020 elections be postponed? It's not impossible, as the
law for Nov elections only dates to the 1790s and is a law passed by
Congress, it's not in the US constitution. Stay tuned...

Me and mine are fine, in GR and PH at the moment and in self-sufficient
farms (both of us). 1% always survive.
JeremyMarch 16, 2020 at 11:13 am  Hide Replies

The U.S. Constitution makes it very clear: on January 20th, at noon, if
there hasn't been an election and nobody has voted, Nancy Pelosi becomes
President of the United States.
IgnacioMarch 16, 2020 at 11:57 am  Hide Replies

But, if there had been no elections, Nancy's term will also have expired.
Then, wouldn't the president be the President pro tempore of the Senate?
Bob from OhioMarch 16, 2020 at 2:15 pm  Hide Replies

Yes, and since a majority of the 2020 senate class is GOP, the Dems will
elect the pro tem so it will be Leahy.
John MMarch 16, 2020 at 2:59 pm  Hide Replies

Not necessarily. The Presidential Succession Act doesn't have primacy here;
the 12th and 20th Amendments do. On January 6, when Congress convenes to
count the electoral votes, if there is no candidate that receives 270 votes
then the House of Representatives chooses a President with one vote cast by
each state delegation. The Constitution specifies that a quorum requires at
least one Member from two-thirds of the states, and votes from a majority
of the states to be elected.

Now, what happens if there *is* no House of Representatives because every
single one's term expired is an interesting question, or if the House can't
seat members from at least 34 states on January 3 when the new Congress
begins. That's the point at which I would assume the Presidential
Succession Act takes hold, and we start talking about President Leahy or
President Grassley.

This also assumes, of course, that states don't take some alternate route
to select Presidential electors. There's no Constitutional requirement that
they do so via public vote; the Constitution only says that "Each State
shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a
Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and
Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress" so in
theory state legislatures could bypass popular elections and simply select
electors by gubernatorial fiat, by legislative vote, by wet t-shirt
contest, etc. This doesn't solve the issue of seating a House of
Representatives -- which *does* have to be selected by popular vote -- but
it's at least theoretically an option.
Ron Force
Moscow Idaho USA

On Sun, Mar 22, 2020 at 12:47 PM Nicholas Gier <ngier006 at gmail.com> wrote:

> My understanding is that the states run the elections, and they would
> decide to postpone or cancel.
> nfg
> On Sun, Mar 22, 2020 at 12:42 PM Kenneth Marcy <kmmos1 at frontier.com>
> wrote:
>> On 3/22/20 6:39 AM, Tom Hansen wrote:
>> > . . . Trump suspends the November presidential election due to
>> > national emergency?
>> >
>> > Could . . . Would . . . this happen?
>> >
>> > (jus’ curious)
>> Not constitutionally.  There are time limits on one person's service as
>> president, and the separation of powers to the states for setting dates
>> for elections of senators, representatives, and to the electoral college
>> to achieve election results in time for winners to begin their new terms
>> at the constitutionally mandated dates. This means that no president may
>> extend terms of office beyond the two now allowed without constitutional
>> amendments approved by three-quarters of the states.
>> Despite the fact that Vladimir Putin is now allowed to rule Russia until
>> 2036, Donald Trump is allowed to be president of the United States of
>> America until noon on January 20, 2021, unless individual and electoral
>> college voters allow him a second term, which would end, according to
>> the current U.S. constitution, January 20, 2025.
>> If Trump wanted to cancel elections for president and vice president,
>> the House of Representatives would choose a president, and the Senate
>> would choose a vice-president to serve until the next set of elections
>> to be held to choose officers and electors to meet the next
>> constitutionally-mandated set of terms of office.  Trump's fantasies
>> about following Chinese and Russian leaders into an American presidency
>> for life are just that -- fantasies.  Yes, one might fantasize a
>> dystopia with appropriate constitutional amendments in place, but I
>> doubt even horror writers such as Stephen King would attempt such a
>> fiction.  Not only are horror writers unlikely to write such fiction,
>> voters are even more unlikely to approve such constitutional amendments.
>> Ken
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> --
> A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they
> shall never sit in.
> -Greek proverb
> “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
> Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance
> from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause lies not in
> lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without
> guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own
> understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.
> --Immanuel Kant
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