History

Could Vice President Pence or Nancy Pelosi Decide Who the President Will Be?

Could the decision of the 2020 Presidential Election rest on Vice President Mike Pence’s shoulders? Where does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fit in?

President Donald J. Trump and the Republican Campaign legal team are pleased that the Pennsylvania court ruled in their favor today.

The court ordered that the commonwealth (Pennsylvania calls it “commonwealth,”  they don’t call it a “state”) can not count ballots where the voters needed to provide proof of identification and failed to do so by Nov. 9.

Trump’s team sees this as significant because it sets the legal precedent that Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State did not have statutory authority to override election law. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court didn’t as well.

This ruling helps them considerably with the rest of the lawsuits in Pennsylvania. It reaffirms that ONLY the legislature can make and change laws for the election.

Looking ahead for the long game, lawyers for Trump are preparing for the Supreme Court and beyond.

They know that the U.S. Constitution’s 12th Amendment, and historical legal precedent offer a credible path to Trump’s victory for a second term.

The president has known for a while the political corruption in Pennsylvania would be a concern. Part of the strategy for success in that state was to gain enough voter enthusiasm and votes to overcome Democratic cheating.

Trump in Pennsylvania.

During a Sept. 26th rally he told the Pennsylvania crowd he doesn’t  “want to end up in the Supreme Court and I don’t want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress — does everyone understand that?” 

“I think it’s 26 to 22 or something because it’s counted one vote per state, so we actually have an advantage. Oh, they’re going to be thrilled to hear that.”

He was referring to the situation–and if it wasn’t clear who had the 270 Electoral Votes– that the 12th Amendment specifies that 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.” 

This point is where people commonly jump to a false assumption, but this has nothing to do with what party that has power in the House.

Each state gets only one vote. They have to vote down party lines as per the 12th Amendment. 

Then, the Senate votes for the Vice President where a similar cast will take place.

Vice President Mike Pence.

That means that Vice President Mike Pence, as the President of the Senate, could have the final authority to decide which to accept and which to reject. 

When Vice President Pence chooses Trump,  Democrats could appeal to the Supreme Court.

As of tonight, November 12, 2020, Republicans hold a state delegation majority.

With 26 of the 50 states, the GOP could keep that majority in this particular vote. A vote of the states would then elect President Trump for a second term. And again, Democrats might try to appeal that outcome to the Supreme Court.

Vice President Pence would then either accept the electors submitted by the Pennsylvania Republican legislature voting for Trump, or dismiss them as disputed and not have them counted. In this new, reduced total of electors, the remaining majority still delivers Trump a victory.

If a majority is not reached, then under the 12th amendment, “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.”

If Republicans maintain their current 26-state House majority by state delegation, they are thereby able in this scenario to reelect President Trump for a second term.

Some speculate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would throw a fit and not attend with other Democrats at the Jan. 6, 2020 joint session of Congress.

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