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Tue May 5, 2020, 09:36 PM

The Looming Crisis of Emergency Powers and Holding the 2020 Presidential Election

The Looming Crisis of Emergency Powers and Holding the 2020 Presidential Election

by Mark Medish and Joel McCleary
May 4, 2020


The future of electoral democracy in the United States is, without exaggeration, at risk. While a global pandemic and economic meltdown could provide a pretext for this threat, it does not come from abroad. Instead the threat comes from our own elected leader, the President of the United States—and those who know him best, know this to be true.

President Donald Trump has made a series of comments that convey casual disregard, if not outright contempt, for our constitutional order. Last year, he told a conservative group, “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” On February 18 of this year, he boasted, “I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country,” which even if technically true no president would dare assert in defiance of the independence of the Justice Department. On March 12, in the same breath as mentioning the availability of “strong emergency powers,” Trump declared, “I have the right to do a lot of things that people do not know about.” A week later he asserted, “When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to be.”

In the spirit of total authority, Trump has claimed the power to adjourn Congress during the Covid-19 crisis to give him, among other things, free rein to make recess appointments. Despite bipartisan opposition, he has dismissed inspectors general in several departments because they dared expose fraud, waste, and political abuse that implicated him. He has claimed the emergency authority to open or close the country. He has undermined the authority of governors by inciting civil disobedience, urging citizens to “liberate” their states from pandemic shutdowns and making supportive statements of armed agitators who do so. Trump has also threatened to put the U.S Postal Service, on which mail-in voting depends, out of business. This pattern of overstepping authority and undermining institutions is too consistent – and the subject matter too serious – to be dismissed as innocent frivolity or ignorance.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has stated his concern about Mr. Trump’s intentions in regard to the elections in November. The presumptive Democratic nominee said he believed that the president might “kick back the election somehow, come up for some rationale for why it can’t be held.” The White House rejected the charge, yet Biden’s concern is warranted. Indeed, the threat is broader still. It includes the possibility of Trump’s abusing emergency powers to suppress voting in general, using other means to interfere with opposition party organizing, or adopting extraordinary measures to contest an election that he loses.

Remainder of article at:

https://www.justsecurity.org/69996/the-looming-crisis-of-emergency-powers-and-holding-the-2020-presidential-election/

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Reply The Looming Crisis of Emergency Powers and Holding the 2020 Presidential Election (Original post)
PufPuf23 May 2020 OP
bdamomma May 2020 #1
rzemanfl May 2020 #3
NEOBuckeye May 2020 #6
montanacowboy May 2020 #2
CaptainTruth May 2020 #4
PufPuf23 May 2020 #5
alwaysinasnit May 2020 #7
RicROC May 2020 #8
PufPuf23 May 2020 #9

Response to PufPuf23 (Original post)

Tue May 5, 2020, 09:44 PM

1. there

will be a outright confrontation if this POS continues to burn the country down.

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Response to bdamomma (Reply #1)

Tue May 5, 2020, 09:55 PM

3. My thoughts as well. n/t

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Response to bdamomma (Reply #1)

Tue May 5, 2020, 10:31 PM

6. Fascism ended so well for Mussolini

Mussolini was another fascist reactionary “strongman” and seemed almost invincible for a time as well. Then one day, he was ousted, executed and humiliated. The fascist reactionary strongman was ultimately destroyed by the same ill winds he unleashed upon his country and the world.

A cautionary tale for Trump and his minions, if they weren't so arrogant and profoundly stupid. They, too, are playing with a fire, now burning out of control, that will blow back and burn them very, very badly in the end.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Original post)

Tue May 5, 2020, 09:53 PM

2. Remember the 2000 election

Look what they did there and we took it. That was a baby warm up to what they will do and we better be ready for it, ready to oppose it at all costs. I don't think we have seen anything yet that they won't do.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Original post)

Tue May 5, 2020, 09:55 PM

4. As I understand it, based on statements by experts...


1) Trump cannot change the date of the election. Only Congress can do that. An emergency declaration doesn't change that.

2) According to the Constitution (20th Amendment) Trump & Pence's current term ends at noon on January 20, 2021. An emergency declaration doesn't change that.

3) If for any reason a new president & VP have not been elected by noon on Jan 20 2021, we go down the list of presidential succession. The Speaker of the House is next in line, so we would get President Pelosi.

Note: I am NOT an expert on this, this is what was stated by Barb McQuade when she brought this issue up on Twitter, as well as some of the "Constitutional experts" who responded to her tweet.

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Response to CaptainTruth (Reply #4)

Tue May 5, 2020, 10:11 PM

5. That is the conventional wisdom talking us back from the ledge.

The theft of the 2000 POTUS election was assisted by the USSC.

The Florida loss was not because of Nader and other excuses but because the in place process was derailed and the election malevolently awarded to GWB. Look at the cascading effects ever since.

Nothing should be surprising.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Original post)

Tue May 5, 2020, 11:47 PM

7. I think we are all certain that there is no legal basis for most of the crap the Bungler-in-Chief

engages in. But since he only respects the Constitution insofar as it benefits him, and to date no one has stopped him from breaking the law, why would anyone believe he won't continue to wipe his ass with the Constitution and any other law that gets in his way.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2020, 01:20 AM

8. President Pelosi?

if Trump changes the date of the election, it still does not change the date of the end of his term Jan 20, 2021. if there is no election, his term ends and Nancy becomes the President by default.

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Response to RicROC (Reply #8)

Wed May 6, 2020, 01:25 AM

9. According to the article, even Biden has concern about Trump.

If Trump were to pull BS (like delaying the election or?), there is little doubt that Trump would still have support of the Senate GOP, the conservative majority USSC, Barr, etc.

Absolutely nothing is normal or dependable.

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