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Trump Says Pence Can Overturn His Loss in Congress. That’s Not How It Works.


“The individual having the best variety of votes shall be the president,” the modification goes on, until there’s a tie or no one has secured a majority, by which case the Home decides.

The job has often been disagreeable for vice presidents. In 1961, the state of Hawaii despatched two slates of electors and the vice chairman, Richard M. Nixon, who had simply misplaced the election to John F. Kennedy, moved to depend the Democratic electors, which expanded his personal margin of defeat. Forty years later, Al Gore was in an analogous spot, burdened with overruling objections from his fellow Democrats and declaring the victory of George W. Bush — and his personal defeat — after a drawn-out Florida recount that was ended by the Supreme Court docket. And in 2017, Mr. Biden, then the vice chairman, needed to reject a Democratic problem to Mr. Trump’s victory.

However regardless of how distasteful it’s, J. Michael Luttig, a former choose for the USA Court docket of Appeals and main conservative authorized scholar, mentioned that Mr. Pence had no selection however to easily depend the votes.

“No president and no vice chairman would — or ought to — think about both occasion as a take a look at of political loyalty,” Mr. Luttig mentioned. “And if both did, he must perceive that political loyalty should yield to constitutional obligation.”

Underneath the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which was handed after the contested election of 1876 by which a number of states despatched rival units of electors, it’s as much as Congress to settle any disputes about state certifications.

If at the least one member of the Home and Senate raises an objection a couple of state’s outcomes, it should be thought-about, instantly halting the joint session so members can return to their respective chambers and debate the problem for as much as two hours. Then a vote — determined by a easy majority — is held to find out whether or not to throw out that state’s outcomes. That has not occurred because the Reconstruction Period, and with Democrats controlling the Home and plenty of Senate Republicans opposed, it’ll nearly actually fail.

Nonetheless, Republicans plan to power at the least three such votes, maybe extra. Consultant Mo Brooks of Alabama has said he will move to contest the results from as many as six states; three Republican senators — Josh Hawley of Missouri, Ted Cruz of Texas and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia — plan to again at the least a kind of. Dozens of Home members and 11 senators have mentioned they plan to vote against certifying Mr. Biden’s victory. On condition that Mr. Trump and his supporters have contested the leads to a number of states that Mr. Biden received — together with Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — there may very well be as a lot as 12 hours of debate on Wednesday, and a half-dozen votes.