I’ve voted Republican in each presidential election since 1980, together with voting for Donald Trump in 2016. I wrote op-eds and a legislation evaluation article protesting what I consider was an unconstitutional investigation by Robert Mueller. I additionally wrote an op-ed opposing President Trump’s impeachment.
But I’m frankly appalled by the president’s current tweet looking for to postpone the November election. Until just lately, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this newest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s instant impeachment once more by the House of Representatives and his removing from workplace by the Senate.
Here is what President Trump tweeted:
The nation has confronted grave challenges earlier than, simply because it does at this time with the unfold of the coronavirus. But it has by no means canceled or delayed a presidential election. Not in 1864, when President Abraham Lincoln was anticipated to lose and the South regarded as if it’d defeat the North. Not in 1932 in the depths of the Great Depression. Not in 1944 throughout World War II.
So we definitely mustn’t even contemplate canceling this fall’s election due to the president’s concern about mail-in voting, which is probably going to improve due to fears about Covid-19. It is up to every of the 50 states whether or not to enable common mail-in voting for presidential elections, and Article II of the Constitution explicitly gives the states total power over the selection of presidential electors.
Election Day was fixed by a federal law passed in 1845, and the Constitution itself in the 20th Amendment specifies that the newly elected Congress meet at noon on Jan. 3, 2021, and that the terms of the president and vice president end at noon on Jan. 20, 2021. Even if President Trump disputed an election he lost, his term would still be over on that day. And if no newly elected president is available, the speaker of the House of Representatives becomes acting president.
President Trump needs to be told by every Republican in Congress that he cannot postpone the federal election. Doing so would be illegal, unconstitutional and without precedent in American history. Anyone who says otherwise should never be elected to Congress again.
Steven G. Calabresi is a co-founder of the Federalist Society and a professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law.
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: email@example.com.
Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.