“Too Far In The Future To Tell”: Kushner Expresses Uncertainty Over The November Election

936px-Jared_Kushner_June_2019A Time interview by Jared Kushner this week brought an unexpected windfall for the Biden campaign on one of the most embarrassing stories this month. Recently, former Vice President Joe Biden peddled a bizarre conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump had decided to halt the November election.  As I pointed out in a column, the theory showed a striking lack of constitutional knowledge and was legally impossible.  Yet, as if on cue from the Biden campaign, Kushner yesterday swept in and offered critics exactly what they were seeking in saying that it is “too far in the future to tell” whether the November election would be held.  The answer is that it is not “too far” if you have a modicum of constitutional knowledge.  The November election will be held unless there is a coup or an act of collective congressional insanity.

Kushner was asked a question that clearly referenced the Biden conspiracy theory.  It should have been a soft ball question where Kushner highlighted Biden’s bizarre lack of understanding of the system.  Instead, he told TIME that November was “too far in the future to tell.” He then added:

“It’s not my decision to make, so I’m not sure I can commit one way or the other. I’m not sure I can commit one way or the other, but right now that’s the plan. Hopefully by the time we get to September, October, November, we’ve done enough work with testing and with all the different things we’re trying to do to prevent a future outbreak of the magnitude that would make us shut down again.”

In fairness to Kushner, he seemed surprised by the question and was disavowing any control over a decision.  What is odd is that he was clueless about the Biden controversy and the underlying constitutional realities.  It is not a “plan” that is subject to revision and certainly not up to the President.  As I wrote earlier:

“Now for a constitutional reality check. Elections are managed by the states and not the federal government under Article Two. The date of the presidential election is set by federal law and not subject to an executive order. Even war or martial law does not suspend the date of the presidential election. Since 1845, Congress has mandated that the presidential election be held the Tuesday after the first Monday in November every four years. In order to change that date, Trump would have to have both chambers of Congress vote to do so.

Finally, any delay in the election would also collide with the 20th Amendment, which extinguishes the power of the prior president at noon on January 20. Even if Trump persuaded Congress to delay the election past that date, his term still constitutionally ends on that date unless he is reelected.”

To put it simply, it is not that it is too early for a plan to halt the election. Rather, it is over 175 years too late that say otherwise.

60 thoughts on ““Too Far In The Future To Tell”: Kushner Expresses Uncertainty Over The November Election”

  1. ‘Pertaining to his conversations with Putin, Joe Biden seeks privacy, refusing to allow the U of Delaware to open its library of Biden papers. Pertaining to Gen. Flynn’s conversation with the Russian Ambassador, Biden unmasked Flynn. Why the double-standard? Why can Biden hide?’ @AriFleischer

    What’s Biden hidin’? THAT is the question fake news “reporters” refuse to ask him…

  2. Have you not yet learned when to tell how easy trolling is in the waters of socialism?

  3. If the public wasn’t so stupid they would see right through that as a rehash of the left wanting t to replace legal voting with polls.

  4. So you’re saying the republicans are evaluating an election in 2020,

    And the democrats, terrified of the impending Trump landslide victory, released COVID-19 in 2020.

    Oh my! Isn’t that timing shocking?

    What a surprising COINCIDENCE.

    It just happens to be an election year.

    “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

    – Rahm Emanuel


  5. If anyone has a more general interest in election law, I recommend Rick Hasen’s election law blog: https://electionlawblog.org/
    It’s a mix of commentary, links to relevant news and opinion pieces in the media, …

    Today’s entries so far are:
    * J. Christian Adams, of The Disbanded Pence-Kobach Voter Fraud Commission, Suggests Deputy Postmaster General Removed Because He Clashed with Pres. Trump on Vote By Mail [tweet from Adams]
    * Supreme Court Justices Seem Wary of “Chaos” If Ruling for Lessig Side in Faithless Electors Cases [Slate article from Hasen]
    * “In Florida, felons must pay court debts before they can vote. But with no system to do so, many have found it impossible.” [Washington Post article]
    * “SC expands absentee voting for June primaries due to coronavirus pandemic” [Post and Courier article]
    * “Elderly Workers Run Elections. But COVID-19 Will Keep Many Home” [Center for Public Integrity article]

  6. Kushner must be fired for this gaffe. He is a saboteur.

    Of course the Democrat biased press makes too much of it, but Kushner is flat out wrong again, and again tarnishing President’ Trump. Jared, you’re fired!

    1. If he should be fired over that, then every single Democrat that voted for the Russian impeachment hoax should be “fired”.
      Or maybe we should “fire” Joe Biden because he literally only speaks in gaffes. Open your eyes

  7. Uh Jon, considering that governors, mayors and county judges are throwing the Bill or Rights out the window, who’s to say what might happen later in the year? Cuomo and Pritsker, for example, may very well declare no elections and appoint electors for Biden. “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.” States may very well suspend a public election and have the legislatures appoint electors.

  8. “or an act of collective congressional insanity.” Given who is in charge of the House, I can see having some paranoia about what they might attempt at this point, nothing else has worked for them.

  9. Yes too far in the future to see if they can stop mail in ballots, destroy the post office, purge enough voters, close enough polling places, and disenfranchise as many voters as they can because repugthuglicans only win by cheating. Then if they feel they can’t they will turn to the traitor Barr and and Moscow Mitch McTurtle to block an election. Besides, when has the tin pot psychopath orange fascist let something like the law and the Constitution get in the way. After all he is the emperor, even if he has no clothes. Of course he has his nazi brown shirts toting their artificial penises outside their panties and his Jim Jones kool-aid drinking cult following him.

    BTW, hows that virus thing going. Thailand had 0 cases today. Great job back there by the US fascist government and how many cases now?

    1. Sargent, your Sabai is showing. The American Founders imposed a severely restricted vote as “original intent” to avoid hysteria and incoherence and to imbue civility and rationality. Immigrants were required, four times in the Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802, to be “…free white person(s)…” , and voters must have been male, European, 21 with 50 lbs. Sterling/50 acres. 11.6% was the turnout in the 1788 election of George Washington. That result was entirely acceptable to America’s Founders. Do you know which country you’re in?

      1. Do you just really like ladyboys or think that gets under my skin, little boy you are barking up the wrong tree. Oh if you want to meet some come on over and I’ll introduce you. Oh wait, I’m sorry Americans are barred from most countries, certainly SE Asia, because they have an idiot for a leader and the most cases and deaths in the entire world. At any rate all those early voting restrictions were eliminated as was the poll tax to prevent black people for voting. Of course kool-aid drinkers like you would like to go back to those times. I’ve a strange feeling some of my ancestors would not. Americas founders were not exactly perfect people, many if not most owned slaves, bet you would like to, maybe one of those ladyboys there. Oh maybe they aren’t dark enough. I know exactly what country I’m in and exactly what country I owe my allegiance to. I didn’t put my life on the line in a stupid, immoral, illegal war for nothing, or maybe I did if my country is full of idiots like you and some of the posters on here.

        Have a nice Memorial Day, if you even know what it is or means. I damn well do.

    2. Wait wasn’t it AOC saying that the democrats rigged the voting, in I think Michigan, to cheat Bernie out of 20,000 votes?

  10. Prof. Turley,

    Having read your columns for a week now, I’ve noticed that you have an unfortunate tendency to make sloppy substitutions for what someone actually claimed and failing to look up the full set of relevant comments from someone.

    For example, here you wrote “Recently, former Vice President Joe Biden peddled a bizarre conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump had decided to halt the November election.” But that’s not what Biden said, and it’s not implied by what he said. He said “Mark my words, I think [Trump] is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held.” “Imagine threatening not to fund the post office. Now what in God’s name is that about? Other than trying to let the word out that he’s going to do all he can to make it very hard for people to vote. That’s the only way he thinks he can possibly win.”

    Biden’s prediction that Trump “is gonna try” to do something (a future tense claim) doesn’t imply that Trump “had decided” to do it already (your substitution, a past tense claim). But that’s a minor error. What’s more important is that you ignored other relevant comments from Biden, pretending that Biden didn’t know that the election cannot be postponed. But he does know this. For example, in March, Jimmy Kimmel asked Biden “Is it possible that Trump could postpone the presidential election?,” and Biden responded “No, he doesn’t have the authority to do that. Now, it’s possible that he may start a drumbeat saying it should be postponed” (and of course Trump can say whatever ridiculous thing he wants, and he often does). And Biden added that Jon Meacham, a historian and friend of his, has pointed out that elections were held during the Civil War, WWI and WWII. (youtube.com/watch?v=np9m2dg4IOQ)

    You are, of course, correct that the President cannot postpone the election date. However, that doesn’t imply that Trump cannot try to make it harder for citizens to vote (part of Biden’s claim) or even work to prevent them from voting in some states. As Rick Hasen (Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at UC Irvine) has noted:

    “I worry that some Republican leaders, given their recent track records, will try to manipulate election results in November. I see two main paths for chicanery.
    “First, Trump or state governors could seek to use public health concerns as a pretext to close polling places in Democratic cities in swing states. Voting would still take place, but turnout could be skewed to help Republicans.
    “More ominously, as Mark Joseph Stern has pointed out, state legislatures have the power under the Constitution to choose presidential electors. In its infamous 2000 decision in Bush vs. Gore, the U.S. Supreme Court remarked that although every state legislature had given voters the power to vote directly for the president and to allocate the state’s electoral college votes, state legislators could take back that power at any time.
    “What’s to stop Trump from appealing to Republican-controlled legislatures in the swing states of Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to take back this power from voters under the pretext that the risk of COVID-19 makes voting too difficult? Although all these states, except Arizona, have Democratic governors, some believe that the legislatures could take back this power even without the agreement of the governor.”
    Mark Joseph Stern’s longer discussion, in which he also raises the issue of faithless electors: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/03/trump-cancel-election-day-constitution-state-electors-coronavirus.html

    The Supreme Court will hear the faithless electors case today. It’s striking that you’ve chosen not to note the relevance in this column.

    1. You are new to this blog, so let me fill you in. JT is a Trump defender, he tries to wrap up bad things Trump does and says in academic reasoning to make it look ok. The things JT can not rationalize, JT ignores. His non-Trump posts are pretty good. His blog was way better pre-Trump.

      1. Sorry, Molly, but you obviously don’t read this blog very often. Maybe it only pops up in your feed when it annoys the left? JT is certainly no Trump supporter. Fortunately for this country, he is a man of reason and objectivity. I guess that’s annoying to zealots both right and left.

      2. Turley, like his former student Kellyanne, likes to turn the tables on stupid or illegal things Trump or one of his flunkies does, using this as ammunition against Biden or Democrats. Today’s post is a perfect example. Instead of focusing on the absurdity of Kushner’s comment, Turley uses it to attack Biden by: 1. massaging the facts about what Biden said, even going so far as to call his remarks a “conspiracy theory”; 2. commenting on how stupid and uninformed Biden was for what he said (while misrepresenting what he really did say); and 3. then commenting that it is unfortunate that Kushner gave Biden’s dumb “conspiracy theory” support…but, “in fairness to” Kushner, he was surprised by the question. Wow! Turley managed to turn Kushner’s obvious incompetence and lack of knowledge as to what’s going on into a “conspiracy theory” by Biden.

        This is pure Kellyanneism at its best and a perfect example of why people hate lawyers so much.

        1. Now in a second time in 30 days I agree with Natacha. This is not a trend, don’t worry


          >>>>> yes what she said. FIRE JARED NOW PRESIDENT TRUMP!

          At least order him to clam up his stupid mouth before he harms the Presidency again!

          Jared is a saboteur, I have long suspected, and this outrageously wrong statement playing into the hands of Biden camp is proof positive. FIRE JARED NOW!

          1. Actually Kurtz I suspect Jared and Trump are two peas in a pod. Two tone deaf, daddy hooked me up and was endlessly amused when I crashed the car into the wall, wait a minute that stockpile was ours!!, spiritual partners.

            And Trump has done more disrespect to the presidency than Jared — or anyone — has ever done.

            Agreed on firing Jared now. Toss in Vanks for good measure…

            Better yet, get Trumpy bear out too. It’s the most patriotic thing he could do for the country at this point.

          2. Jared isn’t bright enough to be a saboteur. He and Ivanka are in the White House because Trump believes they won’t rat on him and there are few to no people he trusts.

            1. Translation: Natacha’s in a permanent snit because guys like Jared wouldn’t give her the time of day.

        2. But Natacha quite attacking Turley for a legit essay. You are not his schoolmarm to scold him every day,. it’s pathetic! Have you no sense of modesty and decency to wear your muddy shoes into Turley’s foyer day after day?

          1. Just pointing out trial tactics, which is exactly what this is. The topic should have been Kushner’s baseless comments, but Turley pivoted it into an unfair attack on Joe Biden, misrepresenting what Biden did say.

            1. Natacha – you cannot misrepresent what Biden said, because you cannot figure out what the hell he actually said.

              1. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,”

                “All men and women created by — you know, you know, the thing.”

                “Super Thursday.”

                – Joke Biden

              2. He said “Mark my words, I think [Trump] is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held.”

                Is this over your head? Bear in mind that Trumpy Bear is trying to de-fund the USPS to get back at Jeff Bezos, so if many states go to mail voting, that could affect the election if the USPS cannot process or deliver mail. Trump has already admitted that taking away barriers to voting hurts Republicans.

                1. Natacha – Amazon is getting a great deal from the USPS and Trump is right. Bezos needs to pay more for shipping. If he did, the USPS would not be in hock.

                  1. It is illegal for the post office to ship parcels at a loss. Parcels are how they make their money. Amazon gets no deal.

    2. You are new to this blog. Let me fill you in. We have an assortment of leftoid commenters, who generally say almost nothing of value on any topic. Some of them are vicious and some of them are stupid. They fancy that the inveterate establishmentarian who owns the site is a partisan of the President because he occasionally offers commentary inconvenient to partisan Democrats.

    3. Committ, your noting the sloppy thinking and cavalier disregard of inconvenient facts – ones that don’t fit JT’s usually defend-Trump stance – on this column is SOP. One expects a scholar to be more careful. If we want half baked propaganda, there’s no shortage of that, all day long.

      Hey Rush is on in a few minutes!

      1. I do expect better from academics.

        But in part I’m simply puzzled by why he’s posting a superficial column when there are significant — and interesting — legal issues related to this, especially on the day of a relevant SCOTUS oral argument.

        He could easily have used Kushner’s comment to draw attention to the case before the court and its relevance to Stein’s argument and the broader issue of whether there are risks to the election.

        And there are valid concerns about how COVID-19 may affect voting, both in terms of what happened in WI (people having been put at risk in in-person voting, closures of lots of polling places, …) and moving forward. Lots of older voters serve as poll workers and may choose not to do that work this year. Are states attempting to recruit replacements? Or if lots of states move to move vote-by-mail (VBM), there are supply-chain issues in making that possible: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mail-in-elections-covid-19-supply
        And of course, the USPS *is* in trouble financially (largely because of Congress, such as the requirement that the USPS prefund 75 years worth of retiree benefits), and VBM adds another stress.

        1. Committ, he’s not interested in the larger and compelling legal issues of the day. He’s interested politics, and specifically in attacking Democrats, “liberal media”, and defending Trump. He writes 2-3 columns a week about MSNBC for God’s sake! Usually a Hillary column every couple of weeks, and that old favorite – “Democrats ripped off Bernie!”.

          If he was serious about critical issues and the law, he could write about:

          – Powers of the President in an emergency and specifically the PDA.
          – Powers of Governors in emergencies
          – Subpoena powers of Congress, especially this week, but since Trump took office
          – In light of multiple firings, the independence of IGs, intended and effective
          – Legal immunity of the President, especially this week

          By the way, did you notice that Trump appointed a new Postmaster General who’s a crony campaign contributor in a post which has traditionally been filled by post office veterans.

          Swamp is getting deeper.

  11. Kushner wasn’t aware that an incoming administration had to hire new staff…

    Anything after is just extraneous.

  12. “Nothing to see here. Move along!”

    JT doing his part for the reelection campaign, as always.

    1. Shutting Jared up now would help the campaign a lot. He is the most annoying pencil necked geek in the POTUS circle and we can see where trusting these pencil necked geeks got him in the past.

  13. Actually I think to at least consider this is not too absurd in the current environment. If the Senate Republicans have any tiny ability to alter this if they believe they are losing they will at least try. Maybe ask Barr???!!!!

    1. Martha, it is not the President or the Republican Party that has tried to void an election. It has been the Democrat Party that has tried to take down a legally elected President. The Democrats have tried with with false accusations from a corrupt FBI,impeachment and even the 25th amendment.

      If one is worried about a party that will use any means to gain power that would be the Democrat Party.

      1. You’re probably too young to remember that impeachment was used by the Republicans against Bill Clinton, It was also used by Republicans against Andrew Johnson. Like the 25th Amendment, impeachment is a legal means to remove a president. Turley is writing about an illegal means for a president to remain in office.

        1. Also, it’s ridiculous to suggest that the Democrats could remove Trump using the 25th Amendment, as it would require a declaration from Pence and a majority of Trump’s Cabinet — all of whom are *Republicans* — “that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

        2. yyy, yes I am too young to remember the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.

      2. You probably don’t remember the same was just used by Comrade Pelosi and she didn’t have the truth of a real situation to back up her nonsense. But the serious efforts have to do with the attempt to replace votes with polls, disenfranchise the military on active duty in war zones, and this popular vote nonesense. Socialist socialist socialist. every one.

  14. “In fairness to Kushner, he seemed surprised by the question and was disavowing any control over a decision. ”

    Kushner’s answer was inept, but his answer has no relevance legal or otherwise.

  15. Can we all get our Smart IDs and Thermal Checks and go Cashless already?

    Yes, we know, money is dirty, yada yada, let’s all wrap it up in a nice bow and move forward.

    Stop holding everyone up, us “cattle” folk. The sheep would like to go back to grazing already.


  16. Well, you think in legal-formal terms and Kushner thinks in practical terms. We actually do need contingency plans should the country be in the midst of a public health crisis in November. And that means we need the parties to co-operate toward salutary ends. The Pelosi-Schumer Democrats will not co-operate.

  17. We have governors overthrowing the Constitution willy-nilly. Do you think a little thing like National Election would stand in their way?

    1. The Administration has been thinking about putting off the election for a very long time. He wasn’t surprised. As to the need for a change in the law, when has the law ever help Trump back. He’ll sign an executive order and that will be that.

      We can’t rely on Congress. Didn’t you hear the President’s lawyers have argued that Congress has no right to reign him in and that this president is above the law?

      1. Holmes, Trump has actually limited the powers of the federal government. You must be talking about the other guy.

        ““We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need. I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.” __Barack Obama

        1. Actually, you can read or listen for yourself to what the President’s lawyers said to the Supreme Court yesterday, such as Jay Sekulow claiming that “Temporary presidential immunity is constitutionally required by Article Two. … [W]e think a categorical approach… targeting the president’s documents in a criminal proceeding should be prohibited.”

          That’s pretty much an argument that the President is above any state criminal law.

          Audio and transcripts here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/oral_arguments.aspx

  18. ” … it is “too far in the future to tell” whether the November election would be held. The answer is that it is not “too far” if you have a modicum of constitutional knowledge.”
    These are strange times, JT, Who woulda thunk the Constitution’s Bill of Rights had an asterisk by it saying “void in case of sickness.” The Dims read us — as the old TV ad turned upside down goes — as people “who’d rather switch than fight.” Let’s hope they’re wrong.

    1. Why limit your outrage to Democrats?

      Can you believe that totalitarian Republican governor of Georgia? In true Orwellian fashion, he has declared Georgia “open”, yet he still orders bars and clubs to remain closed. What a power mad lunatic! He’s pissed on the Bill of Rights as much as anyone, but don’t worry, you can get manicure now. He’s also still pushing the panic by telling the people to keep wearing masks like good little sheep and to avoid large crowds! Terrible!

      Then you look at the insane authoritarian Republican queen of Iowa and her unconstitutional power grab- https://governor.iowa.gov/press-release/gov-reynolds-signs-new-proclamation-continuing-state-public-health-emergency-3

      Don’t get me started on the freedom-hating Republican governors of Ohio, Arkansas and, well, every other state with a republican governor. MADNESS!!! How can these Republican governors shut down huge swaths of the economy by decree?

      Where is President Trump, supposed champion of the people, when these globalist lackeys are preparing America for totalitarianism? Tweeting from the White House and dodging reporters, completely impotent during a full-on collapse of the American way of life. Sad.

    2. I agree with what you’ve said. In normal times…. but seeing how our rights have been violated for safety sake (supposedly), who’s to say what will happen with the election? I don’t recall Kushner ever representing himself as being an expert on all this anyway.

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