That’s an acronym meaning Read The Flippin’ Manual, except it’s not “Flippin'” there in that word starting with F.
The manual is the Supreme Law of the Land, the United States Constitution.
Article II, Section I describes, in the 2nd-4th paragraphs, the means of choosing a President. The third paragraph was replaced by the 12th amendment, but the other two are still current. The fifth paragraph gives the qualifications (including the famous natural born citizen clause). The sixth paragraph discusses succession, but was modified by the 25th amendment.
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: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.US Constitution, Article II, Section 1, 2nd Paragraph
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.US Constitution, Article II, Section 2, 4th Paragraph
The second paragraph seems pretty straightforward; legislators get to determine how the electors get picked. In every case, they’ve chosen to defer to a vote of the people in a state. Each party picks a slate of electors who will vote for their nominee, when you cast your ballot for president, you’re really voting for that slate of electors. The fourth paragraph simply states that Congress gets to pick the date on which the electors are chosen, and the date on which they themselves assemble to vote.
There are grounds for complaint here about the 2020 election, since in many states the Legislature’s rules weren’t followed by the election bureaucrats. I know of less controversy regarding Paragraph 4 being violated, though some have tried to claim that with Congress having set Nov 3rd as the date last year, the selection process had to stop at midnight that night.
Congress’s rules for picking electors and when they vote.
The law that Congress passed in order to pick dates is now codified in Title 3 of the United States Code. In fact Title 3 is entirely about the Presidential Election.
Sections 1 and 2 read:
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.
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.US Code Title 3, sections 1 and 2
Section 2 appears to obviate the complaint about the count not having ended at midnight, provided that the individual state’s law allows for it.
Sections 5 and 6 are more painful, but they basically boil down to requiring the states to certify, to the federal government, the names of the electors. Section six mentions votes cast, but it’s votes cast for the electors, not the votes cast by the electors.
If any State shall have provided, by laws enacted prior to the day fixed for the appointment of the electors, for its final determination of any controversy or contest concerning the appointment of all or any of the electors of such State, by judicial or other methods or procedures, and such determination shall have been made at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors, such determination made pursuant to such law so existing on said day, and made at least six days prior to said time of meeting of the electors, shall be conclusive, and shall govern in the counting of the electoral votes as provided in the Constitution, and as hereinafter regulated, so far as the ascertainment of the electors appointed by such State is concerned.Section 5
It shall be the duty of the executive of each State, as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the appointment of the electors in such State by the final ascertainment, under and in pursuance of the laws of such State providing for such ascertainment, to communicate by registered mail under the seal of the State to the Archivist of the United States a certificate of such ascertainment of the electors appointed, setting forth the names of such electors and the canvass or other ascertainment under the laws of such State of the number of votes given or cast for each person for whose appointment any and all votes have been given or cast; and it shall also thereupon be the duty of the executive of each State to deliver to the electors of such State, on or before the day on which they are required by section 7 of this title to meet, six duplicate-originals of the same certificate under the seal of the State; and if there shall have been any final determination in a State in the manner provided for by law of a controversy or contest concerning the appointment of all or any of the electors of such State, it shall be the duty of the executive of such State, as soon as practicable after such determination, to communicate under the seal of the State to the Archivist of the United States a certificate of such determination in form and manner as the same shall have been made; and the certificate or certificates so received by the Archivist of the United States shall be preserved by him for one year and shall be a part of the public records of his office and shall be open to public inspection; and the Archivist of the United States at the first meeting of Congress thereafter shall transmit to the two Houses of Congress copies in full of each and every such certificate so received at the National Archives and Records Administration.Section 6
The Electors Vote
Finally, The actual vote by the electors takes place, and the results are sent to the President of the Senate, sections 7-10
The electors of President and Vice President of each State shall meet and give their votes on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their appointment at such place in each State as the legislature of such State shall direct.Section 7
The electors shall vote for President and Vice President, respectively, in the manner directed by the Constitution.Section 8
(This would be as specified in Amendment XII, which we’ll get to.)
The electors shall make and sign six certificates of all the votes given by them, each of which certificates shall contain two distinct lists, one of the votes for President and the other of the votes for Vice President, and shall annex to each of the certificates one of the lists of the electors which shall have been furnished to them by direction of the executive of the State.Section 9
The electors shall seal up the certificates so made by them, and certify upon each that the lists of all the votes of such State given for President, and of all the votes given for Vice President, are contained therein.Section 10
The electors shall dispose of the certificates so made by them and the lists attached thereto in the following manner:
First. They shall forthwith forward by registered mail one of the same to the President of the Senate at the seat of government.
Second. Two of the same shall be delivered to the secretary of state of the State, one of which shall be held subject to the order of the President of the Senate, the other to be preserved by him for one year and shall be a part of the public records of his office and shall be open to public inspection.
Third. On the day thereafter they shall forward by registered mail two of such certificates and lists to the Archivist of the United States at the seat of government, one of which shall be held subject to the order of the President of the Senate. The other shall be preserved by the Archivist of the United States for one year and shall be a part of the public records of his office and shall be open to public inspection.
Fourth. They shall forthwith cause the other of the certificates and lists to be delivered to the judge of the district in which the electors shall have assembled.Section 11
[In case someone doesn’t realize this: The “President of the Senate” is the Vice President, at the current time that’s Mike Pence. Or is it? If it’s not him…is there any provision for who is “acting” VP until Trump can nominate, and congress approve, a successor?
UPDATE: Sylvia (she of the shovel) made a point that makes me think this is the wrong question. It’s not “acting VP” we are after, but rather “acting President of the Senate.” (That’s a description, not a formal title.) I strongly suspect that the President Pro Tem steps up when there is no President of the Senate available. As of right now, that President Pro Tem is Chuck Grassley.]
Sections 12 and 13 talk about what happens if the state’s slate of electors isn’t received by the President of the Senate by the 4th Wednesday in December; in essence he goes to the secretary of state for that state and asks him for HIS copy of the certificate; if that fails he then goes to the judge in that jurisdiction.
Section 14 basically says if the messenger doesn’t deliver, he forfeits $1000.
What I don’t see here is any sort of thing Pence had to do by some date in December to reject the certificates he had. There was an awful lot of noise about that for about two days, and whatever it was that Pence was (not) supposed to do, he didn’t do it so a lot of people got upset with him. For what, precisely?
Are some people supposedly on our side making up their own laws here to fit a narrative?
Twelfth Amendment: The Rest of the process.
The original process from Article II, Section I called for each elector to cast two distinct votes for President, neither vote carrying more weight than the other. Whoever came in first would be the next President, whoever came in second became the Vice President. However, one thing our Framers didn’t anticipate (or maybe they did but they certainly didn’t want) were political parties, and this process could, and did, lead to bitter rivals being elected President and Vice President in 1796. So the Twelfth Amendment was passed by Congress, sent to the states, and was ratified by September of 1804.
The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;–the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;–The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.–]The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.Amendment XII to the United States Constitution. The bit in the brackets was superseded, in turn, by the XXth Amendment.
Essentially they now had the electors vote for President and Vice President separately, and they modified the rules slightly for what to do if no one got a majority.
Speaking of which: “The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed” would mean that the winner must get 270 votes or more to win at this point in the process. As far as I can discern, no one is disputing that 538 electors have been appointed. Maybe that dispute will be taken up on the 6th of January. And this is probably what American Thinker is imagining Pence could do on Wednesday. If he refuses to acknowledge their appointment somehow, then that reduces the aggregate number of electoral votes.
It doesn’t look, at the moment, like someone’s going to fail to get a majority, but here’s what happens if no presidential candidate gets 270 or more: and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.
In other words, the House drops what it is doing, and picks a president from the top three electoral vote winners. However, each state’s delegation casts one vote, so Wyoming has exactly as much to say as does California. At least two thirds of the states (34 or more) must have at least some of their Reps present for this to proceed (the quorum) and the winner must get the votes of at least 26 states. (Not a majority of those present, a majority of all states.)
This doesn’t seem like it would be much of a problem for Trump, provided we can get to that part of the process, because most state delegations are majority Republican. Except of course that I wouldn’t necessarily trust a bunch of RINOs to vote for him. On the other hand their other two options are Biden, and whoever comes in third in electoral votes.
I have heard nothing whatsoever about a third candidate getting any electoral votes from faithless electors. Seven or eight people switched their votes last time. (Countering this point is the claim that the electors vote by secret ballot; I don’t believe this is actually the case as 1) it’s not specified anywhere that they do this and 2) it would be impossible for those states who require the electors vote for their party’s candidate to apply that law. And I do know that some electors last time were replaced on the spot when they refused to vote for Trump or Hitlary.)
(Last time around, Colin Powell got three electoral votes and was therefore in third place. I believe someone was trying to set up an attempt to put him in the White House as a compromise choice if the election were kicked to the House–which it wasn’t.)
Who is third this time around? Is anyone third this time around? Does anyone know? The one source I have (Wikipedia) states there weren’t any. (Take that for what it’s worth.)
But in order to even get to a point where this matters, Joe Biden has to lose a bunch of electoral votes between now and Wednesday. How might this be accomplished?
Run On Legalese
Back to Title 3. Now we’re up to Section 15. And someone ought to be beaten by a rubber hose for this massive run-on pile of verbalistic schiff.
Congress shall be in session on the sixth day of January succeeding every meeting of the electors. The Senate and House of Representatives shall meet in the Hall of the House of Representatives at the hour of 1 o’clock in the afternoon on that day, and the President of the Senate shall be their presiding officer. Two tellers shall be previously appointed on the part of the Senate and two on the part of the House of Representatives, to whom shall be handed, as they are opened by the President of the Senate, all the certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes, which certificates and papers shall be opened, presented, and acted upon in the alphabetical order of the States, beginning with the letter A; and said tellers, having then read the same in the presence and hearing of the two Houses, shall make a list of the votes as they shall appear from the said certificates; and the votes having been ascertained and counted according to the rules in this subchapter provided, the result of the same shall be delivered to the President of the Senate, who shall thereupon announce the state of the vote, which announcement shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons, if any, elected President and Vice President of the United States, and, together with a list of the votes, be entered on the Journals of the two Houses. Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received. When all objections so made to any vote or paper from a State shall have been received and read, the Senate shall thereupon withdraw, and such objections shall be submitted to the Senate for its decision; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, in like manner, submit such objections to the House of Representatives for its decision; and no electoral vote or votes from any State which shall have been regularly given by electors whose appointment has been lawfully certified to according to section 6 of this title from which but one return has been received shall be rejected, but the two Houses concurrently may reject the vote or votes when they agree that such vote or votes have not been so regularly given by electors whose appointment has been so certified. If more than one return or paper purporting to be a return from a State shall have been received by the President of the Senate, those votes, and those only, shall be counted which shall have been regularly given by the electors who are shown by the determination mentioned in section 5 of this title to have been appointed, if the determination in said section provided for shall have been made, or by such successors or substitutes, in case of a vacancy in the board of electors so ascertained, as have been appointed to fill such vacancy in the mode provided by the laws of the State; but in case there shall arise the question which of two or more of such State authorities determining what electors have been appointed, as mentioned in section 5 of this title, is the lawful tribunal of such State, the votes regularly given of those electors, and those only, of such State shall be counted whose title as electors the two Houses, acting separately, shall concurrently decide is supported by the decision of such State so authorized by its law; and in such case of more than one return or paper purporting to be a return from a State, if there shall have been no such determination of the question in the State aforesaid, then those votes, and those only, shall be counted which the two Houses shall concurrently decide were cast by lawful electors appointed in accordance with the laws of the State, unless the two Houses, acting separately, shall concurrently decide such votes not to be the lawful votes of the legally appointed electors of such State. But if the two Houses shall disagree in respect of the counting of such votes, then, and in that case, the votes of the electors whose appointment shall have been certified by the executive of the State, under the seal thereof, shall be counted. When the two Houses have voted, they shall immediately again meet, and the presiding officer shall then announce the decision of the questions submitted. No votes or papers from any other State shall be acted upon until the objections previously made to the votes or papers from any State shall have been finally disposed of.Title 3, Section 15.
At 1 PM on January Sixth, Four appointed “tellers,” two senators and two reps, in the presence of both the House and Senate, presided over by the President of the Senate, open the states’ votes in alphabetical order, and read them off. Last time around, they simply rotated; I remember one of the Senators was Klobuchar. This is normally a ritual; they were even reading from a prepared script.
The President of the Senate then accepts the vote of the state…at which point, it’s final for that state. There is no recourse.
But before that happens, objections can be made from the floor. “Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received. When all objections so made to any vote or paper from a State shall have been received and read, the Senate shall thereupon withdraw, and such objections shall be submitted to the Senate for its decision; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, in like manner, submit such objections to the House of Representatives for its decision;“
Note that all objections to a states vote must be made before the session breaks up. Once they’re done deciding, you can’t object again. You can make 25 objections before and they’re all to be considered simultaneously, but none after. So as I read this, we can’t tie this up simply by filibustering with objections to the same state, over and over. The run-on-sentence champion who wrote this law tried to ensure the process would come to an end someday.
[We will have, however, a very early indicator of how it’s going to go. You see, Arizona is one of the states rotten with fraud, and it’s quite early in the alphabet! I should expect there to be objections, we already have a senator and several house members who say they will do so. When that happens, we will see what comes of it.]
Basically the house and senate can only reject on the grounds that the slate of electors wasn’t valid or didn’t follow the process correctly. THIS IS WHERE ANY ALLEGATION OF ELECTORAL FRAUD WOULD COME INTO PLAY. (Or, if there are two competing slates, they get to pick the right one. Of course a bunch of competing Trump electors sent certificates to Washington, but those may have been rejected as invalid already–apparently the governor didn’t sign them; I’d certainly be surprised if the tellers open them up and read them; if they don’t, then the alternate certificates don’t matter since they haven’t been opened in the joint session. I don’t think anyone knows what happened to all of those alternate slates.)
The problem is, both the House and Senate must uphold the objection(s). If only one agrees, the objection(s) fail. And nothing is specified here about voting by states in the House. That only comes into play when the House selects the president-elect.
Do you expect the House, which will be a narrow Democrat minority on January 6, to uphold any objection to a Biden elector? Do you even trust the RINOs in the Senate to toe the line? The only way I can imagine it happening is if there is a lot of D/RINO absenteeism in both chambers.
I admit that I don’t see the President’s strategy here–what I can think of seems doomed to fail–but it seems pretty obvious that he thinks he has one, else why the Rally? I very earnestly hope he sees something I do not.
So let’s assume someone gets a majority of the electoral vote, or the House gets it and makes a decision in a timely manner. In that case, the person chosen becomes the President-Elect.
There is, at that point no appeal, and no remedy for the loser. As Joe Biden told an objector back in 2017 when no senator would join her objection, “it is over.”
January 6th is Wednesday. By next Friday, when I do my next daily, we will know who the President Elect is, or America will be glued to their TV screens watching Congress deal with an historic mess as we go into Day Three of Congress adjudicating the election.
I’ll close by quoting my own paragraph from five weeks ago.
I have said it before, and I will say it again, this is for all the Chips. After this, GAME OVER. If we lose this, to such blatant fraud, 2024 won’t matter. Trump won’t matter. Politically speaking, nothing on Earth will matter. There will be no recourse within the system.
A Reminder Of Today’s Big Issue.
Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment with a new government controlled by you, the American People...Our campaign represents a true existential threat, like they’ve never seen before.Then-Candidate Donald J. Trump
Needs to happen, soon.
Lawyer Appeasement Section
OK now for the fine print.
Please note that our menu has changed, please listen to all of the options.
This is the WQTH Daily Thread. You know the drill. There’s no Political correctness, but civility is a requirement. There are Important Guidelines, here, with an addendum on 20191110.
We have a new board – called The U Tree – where people can take each other to the woodshed without fear of censorship or moderation.
And remember Wheatie’s Rules:
1. No food fights
2. No running with scissors.
3. If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
4. The first rule of gun safety: Don’t let the government take your guns.
5. The gun is always loaded.
5a. If you actually want the gun to be loaded, like because you’re checking out a bump in the night, then it’s empty.
6. Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
7. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
8. Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
9. Social Justice Warriors, ANTIFA pukes, BLM hypocrites, and other assorted varieties of Marxists can go copulate with themselves, or if insufficiently limber, may substitute a rusty wire brush suitable for cleaning the bore of a twelve or ten gauge.
(Hmm a few extras seem to have crept in.)
Coin of The Day
Unless I think of something…
Just one more thing, my standard Public Service Announcements. We don’t want to forget any of these!!!
How not to get your ass kicked by the police. Chris Rock in 2007
Granted an “ass kicking” isn’t the same as being shot, but both can result from the same stupid act. You may ultimately beat the rap, but you aren’t going to avoid the ride.
Remember Hong Kong!!! And remember the tens of millions who died under the “Great Helmsman” Chairman Mao.
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
For my money the Great Helmsman is Hikaru Sulu (even if the actor is a dingbat).