Destroying Democracy to Save it? Court Advances Effort to Block GOP Candidates from Ballots

Below is my column in the Hill on the recent decision of a federal judge to allow a challenge to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R., Ga.) from appearing on the ballot as an insurrectionist. In my view, the underlying claim is meritless. The theory, supported by figures like Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe, runs against the clear language and history of the Disqualification Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Here is the column:

As the country braces for the midterm elections, the left seems to be rallying behind three D’s: Democracy, Disinformation and Disqualification. The latter effort just received a huge boost from a judge in Georgia who has allowed a challenge to knock Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) off the ballot as an insurrectionist. Nothing says “democracy” like preventing others from voting.

Many of us have criticized Greene for her inflammatory rhetoric and her extreme views. No less dangerous, though, is the means being used by some of Greene’s critics to get rid of her. It is all part of a new movement to defend democracy by denying it. To paraphrase the Vietnam strategy, democracy can only be saved by destroying it through the denial of speech or the right to vote.

Many Democratic politicians and pundits have long pushed for censorship as vital to freedom. However, if such freedom-is-tyranny claims seem Orwellian, they are nothing compared to the push to disqualify dozens of candidates from appearing on ballots.

Judge Amy Totenberg ruled that critics could potentially strip Greene from the ballot due to her public comments before and after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot in Congress. Totenberg ruled that Greene’s critics could bring a challenge under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, known as the “Disqualification Clause.” This is the same clause cited by some liberal members of Congress and legal experts as a way to bar dozens of Republicans, including former President Trump, from office for allegedly engaging in insurrection against the United States or giving aid and comfort to its enemies.

This argument most recently was used against Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), who also has been opposed by House colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Cawthorn prevailed in a federal court, which dismissed that effort; an appeal of that ruling will be heard May 3 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Va.

There are similar efforts to block members like Arizona GOP Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs from appearing on state ballots.

Totenberg gave a green light to these constitutional claims despite both the constitutional text and history showing that the claims are meritless.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was written after the 39th Congress convened in December 1865, following the end of the Civil War. At the time, many members were not pleased to see former Confederates like Alexander Stephens (D-Ga.), the Confederacy’s vice president, appear in Congress to retake the very oath they previously violated by waging war against the country.

Whether Jan. 6 was a riot or an actual insurrection remains a matter of deep and largely partisan disagreement — but the disqualification clause was written in reference to a real Civil War in which more than 750,000 people died in combat. The Confederacy was a separate government with its own army, currency and foreign policy.

There is another problem: To the extent that a person can be disqualified under the 14th Amendment, it requires action from Congress, not a local board of election. Despite an otherwise long, careful opinion, Totenberg blithely set aside such details, including an 1869 decision by then-Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase. The case in question challenged the right of Hugh W. Sheffey to hold a Virginia state court office, given his support for the Confederacy. Chase ruled that Section 3 did not disqualify Sheffey because “legislation by Congress is necessary to give effect to” Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, and disqualification from office “can only be provided for by Congress.”

Congress later passed the Amnesty Act of 1872, which overrode the Disqualification Clause except for “Senators and Representatives of the thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh Congresses.”

The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that states cannot impose their own qualifications for Congress because it would “erode the structure envisioned by the Framers.” Under such an approach, partisan state election boards could simply conclude that a member is an insurrectionist and prevent voters from being able to make such choices for themselves.

Totenberg simply insists that barring an insurrectionist is the same as barring someone from running for president who is not a natural-born citizen or who does not meet the age requirement for Congress. However, age and citizenship are easily ascertainable qualifications stated in the Constitution for all candidates. There is no additional finding or action required for such disqualifications. Totenberg is suggesting that a local board declaring a representative to be an insurrectionist is the same as confirming the age or place of birth of a candidate.

As with the calls to censor disinformation, the growing calls for disqualification represent a serious threat to our democracy. Countries like Iran routinely strike candidates from ballots due to their underlying views or perceived disloyalty. Just as free speech allows good ideas to counteract bad ideas, free elections allow good candidates to prevail over bad candidates. The problem is that you have to be willing to live with the judgment of your fellow citizens rather than control what they read or who they may vote for.

In fairness to the court, Totenberg complained that “the parties devoted little time and few pages to the complicated questions inspired by this novel situation.” As such, she did not feel comfortable in granting an injunction for Greene. However, that expression of reluctance at the end of the opinion belies the sweeping language used to get there.

With the other pending cases, this issue may now be headed for a Supreme Court showdown. In the meantime, the Democrats will likely see in November whether the “three D’s” resonate as well with voters as they did with this judge.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

498 thoughts on “Destroying Democracy to Save it? Court Advances Effort to Block GOP Candidates from Ballots”

  1. Anonymous says:

    “Conservatives don’t sneer at the school. They sneer at law school students and professors who do not understand freedom of speech.”

    Correct. Trumpists do sneer at the very law students that Turley takes pride in teaching. To my knowledge, not a single student of his has ever acknowledged here of being a member of his blog family. I wonder why.

    You say, “Take note, of how it is the conservatives that support Trump while you and your ilk try to tear him down.”

    If Trump suffers any discredit, he brings it upon himself with his lying blabber mouth.

    https://youtu.be/3XriXDtfqCg

    1. The statement should read: You say, “Take note, of how it is the conservatives that support Turley while you and your ilk try to tear him down.”

      Turley is doing his best to teach those students, and hopefully, his love of the First Amendment will seep through to the students so that none of them turn out like you.

      1. If only you and I could meet with Turley to discuss Trump! I will ask him why he called Trump a “carnival snake charmer” and whether he still holds to his low opinion. You can bear witness to his answer. You can ask him whether he believes that the election was stolen as do 99% of his blog family. Wanna bet what his answer would be to both questions?

        Face it, Turley has more in common with my liberal values than your Trumpist ones.

        1. “Face it, Turley has more in common with my liberal values than your Trumpist ones.”

          That is why the conservatives support Turley, and you try to tear him down. It’s disgusting.
          I hope you understand the distinction between doctors practicing medicine and plumbers, plumbing. You think those are interchangeable jobs.

          1. I support Turley because he is a NeverTrumper. I share his views by and large. I criticize only his hypocrisy for joining the ranks of Fox News and COMPLETELY ignoring its “advocacy journalism” while CORRECTLY pointing it out at the MSM.

            Once Turley flees Fox as several others have done recently, you Trumpists will turn on him. I will continue to stand by him. If Trump is ever found guilty of civil or criminal conduct, Trumpists will attack Turley when he refuses to condemn the jury’s verdict as “rigged.” Unlike you, I will applaud him.

            1. “I support Turley because he is a NeverTrumper.”

              You are daft. Turley cannot be a Never Trumper by definition. But you are accustomed to making up things, so we all live with those idioTsyncrasies.

              “Once Turley flees Fox as several others have done recently, you Trumpists will turn on him.”

              We judge Turley based on what he says, not the soapbox he is on. By the way, your pal Chris Wallace who left Fox, is out of a job.

            2. You support Turley – by cherry picking a few of his remarks and pretending they are the whole.

              Turley is slowly being red pilled by the left.
              He is not the first real liberal that has happened to.
              Another 2 1/2 years of Biden and he may well vote for Trump – 3/4 of the country might.
              Trump would win the popular vote by as large a margin as Biden purportedly did, if the election were held today
              based on the RCP average.

              Regardless Turley is an old school liberal slowly headed towards libertarian.

              There are ALOT of them.

              Over the course of about 6 years Dave Rubin has gone from the far left to fairly conservative. I think he calls himself libertarian, but he has gone past libertarian.

              Look to Hether Haying, Bret Weinsteain, Matt Taibi, Glenn Greenwald, Even Democratic Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard.

              These and many others are the cream of the left intellectual crop and they are slowly moving right.

          2. Please stop entertaining “trolls and juvenile posters” with a reply. Ignore them. The only reason they come back is because they know someone will engage them.

        2. It is interesting that you want to meet with Turley and you have no interest in discussion the legal and constitutional issues which he is an acknowledged expert.

          You want to discuss his opinions regarding insults that have been made or his opinions on issues that are fundamentally matters of fact that we resolve by thorough investigation.

          Should we ask Turley his opinion regarding the standard model of subatomic particles ?

          I am using that because:
          Ultimately the question is one of FACT, not opinion. But it is a question we do not currently have an answer to.

          Whatever Turley’s opinion – it will not change the fact.

          1. John, just ignore Silberman. For some reason he is filled with hate, and those folks never think clearly.

      2. What’s the point? We already have it embedded in the Constitution. Just
        ditch useless and get to it. Why waste what is known failure. Like party systems. Use coalition’s
        Bffg

    2. “Trumpists do sneer at the very law students that Turley takes pride in teaching. To my knowledge, not a single student of his has ever acknowledged here of being a member of his blog family. I wonder why.”

      I am not aware of anyone on this blog insulting Turley’s law students.

      This is one of the most bizzare arguments I have heard.

      It does not mean anything – and it is obviously on its surface false.

      My wife was a law student – she graduated Suma from UofP law school. She was taught by lots of noteworthy law professors – including Elizabeth Warren – as well as many other “liberals” like Turley.

      Many of her peers are prominent legal minds – at-least one is currently in jail.

      There is no way to reason from Turley being proud of teaching law students – to wherever it is that you think you are going.

      The conservative Judges throughout this country that YOU scorn – all graduated from the top law schools in this country. Place like Yale and Harvard and UofP. As did most of the left judges.

      There is not an actual argument in your remarks – just lies.

  2. Natasha: Yes, Lawrence Tribe has published multiple Constitutional Law texts.” As someone who studied many law textbooks, including some of Tribe’s, I can tell you that basing your opinion on published works, is not a guarantee of anything, other than Tribe has made lots of money and many students have been taught what he wants them to be taught.

    As far as the “lies” being spread about the 2016 election being rigged, what makes you an “expert” on the truth or falsity of that statement? It seems clear that you are so far in the far left lane of this argument, that you should actually recuse yourself from commenting.

    1. I highly doubt that Natacha has met Tribe much less read his work.

      I have done both.

      The modern public Tribe is radically different from the younger professor of constitutional law.

      Tribes constitutional analysis of abortion – while not friendly to NARAL would be a nightmare for PPP.
      And most interestingly it is consistent with centuries of western common law.

      I am sure that Tribe the leftist politician would disown his past works.
      But they are available to read if you wish.

      Lawrence Tribe of 20-30 years ago would have made an excellent supreme court justice.
      Certainly better than anyone else nominated by democrats.

      That does not mean I would agree with him on all things. but it does mean that the positions of the left would have been presented in their most eloguent and logical form. Of course those would be the positions of the liberalism of Tribe, Turley, Derschowitz, not the woke nonsense of the left including Tribe today.

  3. UNCONSTITUTIONAL EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATIVE AND JUDICIAL OVERREACH

    The judicial branch was created to correct the overreach of the legislative and executive branches – the judicial branch failed.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    “It’s the [Constitution], stupid!”

    – James Carville
    _____________

    That treasonous insurrectionist, “Crazy Abe” Lincoln, was allowed by the pointless, futile, ineffectual and corrupted judicial branch to establish the protocols of governmental functionality in America; the sole exception being Chief Justice Taney’s striking down of one of Lincoln’s many multiple acts of treason:

    “The clause in the Constitution which authorizes the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is in the ninth section of the first article. This article is devoted to the Legislative Department of the United States, and has not the slightest reference to the Executive Department,” Taney argued. “I can see no ground whatever for supposing that the President in any emergency or in any state of things can authorize the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or arrest a citizen except in aid of the judicial power,” Taney concluded.

    (Imagine, Justices swear an oath to “support” the literal, verbatim, “manifest tenor” of the Constitution – not to make it up as their personal passions, biases, and ideologies encourage and compel).

    Governance, according to “Crazy Abe,” requires merely that one assembles an armory (electoral thieves), takes control of the government by brute military force, rules as a despotic, butcherly dictator, takes a leisurely “March to the Sea,” and makes whatever statutory and fundamental law one chooses (i.e. including the still illegitimate “Reconstruction Amendments,” and the failure to compassionately repatriate millions of illegal aliens).

    “Crazy Abe” Lincoln introduced America to self-governance by effective monarchy and vicious tyranny.

    The current anti- and unconstitutional rendition of “self-governance” (i.e. military force of arms/corrupted votes and elections) in America will persist until the next batch of anti- and unconstitutional, malevolent barbarians knocks down the gates.

    Alternatively, America implements the dominion of the clear meaning of the English words of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as did the American Framers and Founders, killing off the American welfare state and repulsing the centuries-long illegal invasion, and dilution of the vote and population by illegal immigration (Naturalization Act of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802).
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    – Declaration of Independence, 1776

  4. Natacha writes: “No, we also have the fact that Greene called the storming of the Capitol “our 1776 moment”.

    Our 1776 moment is when the allies landed at the fascist gate of the House of the Mouse and took over the kingdom placing it under state control.

  5. There were riots on January 6, 2017 –
    “At least two DC police officers and one other person were taken to the hospital after run-ins with protesters, DC Fire Spokesman Vito Maggiolo told CNN. Acting DC Police Chief Peter Newsham said the officers’ injuries were considered minor and not life threatening.
    Bursts of chaos erupted on 12th and K streets as black-clad “antifascist” protesters smashed storefronts and bus stops, hammered out the windows of a limousine and eventually launched rocks at a phalanx of police lined up in an eastbound crosswalk.”
    https://www.cnn.com/2017/01/19/politics/trump-inauguration-protests-womens-march/index.html

    1. “There were riots on January 6, 2017”

      There weren’t.

      Your article refers to events that occurred two weeks later.

    2. Let’s not forget Ashli Babbitt. A US veteran assassinated by a Capital Hill Police Lt. Who got away with it. The only shooting that day and the only person killed by violence that day.

          1. “coroner’s report eventually concluded that she died of an amphetamine overdose.”

            “Finally, claims that Boyland died at the hands of the police are also false, as the coroner’s report stated a drug overdose was the cause of death.”

            A lot of distracting discussion of surrounding violence is interjected into the article, but in the end, we can all note the laughable statement: “FACT CHECK BY NEWSWEEK”

            I note how quickly an amphetamine overdose is accepted as the cause of death without describing the bodily wounds. However, when we look at the Gorge Floyd case, we find a completely different approach to his death.

            I don’t have the answer, but I don’t think we have looked at the data of this death as we did with the death of Floyd or anyone dying under such circumstances.

            However, our resident liar and spinner of news, Anonymous the Stupid, has staked his reputation on this article because it agrees with his version.

            In the end, ATS wants us to know that Ashli Babbit was a stupid woman. He feels she didn’t deserve to live because she entered a room unarmed where police were. She was murdered climbing through shattered glass with her arms and feet in plain view spread apart.

  6. Were those who objected the counting of the electoral votes in 2017, “insurrectionist” ?
    Absolutely Not – they like Representative Green exercised the first amendment right of free speech.

    January 6, 2017 Counting Electoral Votes –
    https://www.congress.gov/115/crec/2017/01/06/CREC-2017-01-06.pdf

    Objects
    1: Mr. MCGOVERN. Mr. President, I object to the certificate from the State of Alabama on the grounds that the electoral votes were not, under all of the known circumstances, regularly given and that the electors were not lawfully certified, especially given the confirmed and illegal activities engaged in by the Government of Russia that were designed to interfere with our election and the widespread violations of the Voting Rights Act that unlawfully suppressed thousands of votes in the State of Alabama.
    2: Mr. RASKIN. Mr. President, I have an objection because 10 of the 29 electoral votes cast by Florida were cast by electors not lawfully certified because they violated Florida’s prohibition against dual office holding.
    3: Ms. JAYAPAL. Mr. President, I object to the certificate from the State of Georgia on the grounds that the electoral votes were not—
    4: California rise? Ms. LEE. Mr. President, I object because people are horrified by the overwhelming evidence of Russian interference in our elections.
    5: Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. President, I object on the massive voter suppression that is provisional that denied individual ballots—
    6: Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. President, I object to the certificate from the State of North Carolina based on violations of the Voting Rights Act and confirmed hacking by the—
    7: Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. President, I object to the 15 votes from the State of North Carolina because of the massive voter suppression and the closing of voting massive suppression that occurred from African American—
    8: Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. President, I object to the votes from South Carolina because—
    9: Ms. LEE. Mr. President, I object on behalf of the million of Americans, including members of the intelligence community.
    10: Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. President, I object to the votes from the State of Wisconsin which should not be legally certified.
    11: Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. President, I do not wish to debate. I wish to ask: Is there one United States Senator who will join me in this letter of objection?

  7. The supposed man or woman or mix thereof has once again defined the validity and danger of those who hide and sneak. never exposing who what it’s true animal, vegetable, or mineral nature pretends to be human(s.) Even the name rings false.

    Why bother? The intent is apparant.

  8. Let’s just compare the so called insurrection on January 6 to other famous insurrections in history. Does Jan 6 seem like an insurrection that occurred in France in 1789? Does Jan 6 compare to the storming of the reichstag in Germany in 1920? Was Jan 6 the same as the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1923? Was Jan 6 equal to the Cuban revolution of 1953. We should also ask the question wether the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela is even remotely similar to January 6. For that matter was Jan 6 anywhere near comparable to the American Revolution? The answer to these questions is a resounding NO. So is it about a real danger of an insurrection or is it an inflammation and exaggeration by the left to somehow stir up more votes? A simple viewing of the latest poles should tell the Democrats that their plan is not working. Oh it is working to fool the leftist on this blog and in the rest of the national but the majority of Americans are not falling for their little game. See you in November.

    1. The Demagogue / fascist party constantly project their own thoughts and actions onto their political opponents.

  9. Iran’s – and America’s – Plans to Fund Russia’s War In Ukraine

    Iran’s efforts to conclude a revised nuclear deal with the Biden administration could result in the Kremlin receiving a windfall of half-a-billion dollars to fund its war effort against Ukraine.

    To boost its economy, Russia is now demanding that Iran pay in cash for the deals currently under discussion, as well as repaying outstanding debts believed to be worth more than half a billion dollars in cash owed for Russia’s work on the Bushehr facility.

    “Iran has promised Russia that it will pay its debt once Iranian funds held in the US are no longer under sanctions and become available for use,” a senior Western security official told me this week. “Furthermore, Iran has made transferring down payments to Russia for the purpose of implementing the military agreements between the parties conditional on reaching an agreement in Vienna.”

    Full article at

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18426/iran-us-russia-ukraine

  10. When an opinion’s last paragraph changes the whole tenor of the opinion, it is a sure sign the law clerks wrote the entire opinion, the judge disagreed with their conclusion, and changed the last paragraph to reach the result the judge wanted. See in many times.

  11. As of October 2021, the district, state and supreme courts have ruled on several election fraud issues, while numerous other cases are still open. Some cases were dismissed on legal technicalities, preventing evidence from being presented and considered; but a detailed list of cases and outcomes available at https://election-integrity.info/2020_Election_Cases.htm shows that at a national level, Trump/Republicans have so far prevailed in 18 out of 25 cases that were decided on merits of the evidence.

    1. Your website doesn’t say anything about who runs it (there is no “About Us” page) and nothing about how they identified the suits they’re counting as “2020 US Presidential Election Related Lawsuits,” only that “a team of independent volunteer (unpaid) scientists and engineers recently put together a List of Lawsuits involving the 2020 Presidential election.” For example, if you compare the list on your page with this ABA list — https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_interest/election_law/litigation/ — you’ll find that each page lists some cases that are omitted from the other’s list, so however your unnamed people are compiling their list, it’s incomplete.

      Your pages says “Trump and/or the GOP plaintiff prevailed in 22 out of 30 cases decided on the merits,” not 18 out of 25. Your page tracked 92 cases total, so where you say “Some cases were dismissed on legal technicalities,” that “some” refers to ~2/3s of the cases, and what you’re calling “technicalities” are key aspects such as standing.

      1. Your criticism would be relevant if the topic was the process of conducting an election – where being correct 2/3 of the time or even 90% of the time is NOT good enough.

        But if you are seeking to prove that government failed – you only need to be right once.

    2. Thank you for the resource.

      Most are completely unaware – not only of the cases, but of the significant evidence of serious problems that have been and are continuing to be uncovered.

      I am not mostly interested in the courts at this point – it is far to late to accomplish much there.

      I would like to see some states revoke their certification – but even that is inherently symbolic at this point.

      The most important matter – from the start, is this should never happen again.

      I am from PA. PA’s act 77 is unconstitutional – that actually was passed in 2019 before Covid as a compromise measure between republicans and democrats to end litigation in PA over PA’s voter ID law.
      ACT 77 permitted LIMITED mailin voting – but implimented a broad range of election security measures, including particularly guaranteeing that Voter ID would be completely govern PA.

      As noted PA Act 77 was unconstitutional – Aside from the Secret Ballot requirement of the PA constitution – which mailin voting can never meet, there is also a provision that only permits absetee voting for specific reasons with a provision for the LEGISLATURE to add specific reasons to the list.

      In 2020 Gov. Wolf and his SoS ignored nearly al the election integrity provisions of the law – including Voter ID, and then left groups Sued PA and the PA SCOTUS not merely gave the SoS everything she asked, and the challengers, but PA SCOTUS judicially modified the law to destroy all the election integrity provisions.

      The PA SCOTUS decsions was one of the most blatantly politically corrupt decisions from a court I have ever seen.

      PA’s 2020 election was so lawless and so corrupt that The PA legislature should have impeached Gov. Wolf and 5 of the PA SumpreCourt Justices.

      Frankly I am surprised that Wolf was able to pass a buget or ANYTHING after the Election Fiasco.

      While I oppose Act 77 – because it is unconstitutional.
      The fundimental problem in PA was Not Act 77, it was PA democrats – in thee xecturtive, in the courts complete lawlessness and worse their willness to live up to the committments they made to pass ACT 77 in the first place.

      If you want to polarize government further – if you want it to seize completely – there is little that could be more effective than to strike a compromise, and then through purely legislative and judicial action completely gut the compromise to get everything you wanted – including things that were never even discussed.

      Act 77 makes no provisions for ballot drop boxes at all. We have enough problems with the ballot boxes that are completely in control of election officials much less unattended boxes on the street.
      Act 77 required mailin Ballots to be delivered to a SINGLE specific location in each county by the post office – or by hand by the voter during ordinary business hours.
      The SoS expanded that to Any election office within the county – not the law, but still not totally insecure. The Courts expanded this to dozens of unattended ballot boxes throughout the country

      Much of the country does not know this – but a couple of PA counties have a reputation for election fraud that compares to that of Cook County Illinois.
      Many people have been convicted of Election fraud in PA – several were convicted in 2020 of feeding the same ballot over and over through a scanner in a prior election.

      Even today – nearly 2 years after the election – PA has not been able to reconcile the number of people who voted with the number of votes cast – we have more ballots than voters by over 1/4 million – and 99% of the error is in TWO large urban democratic counties. These are the same places that received millions of Zuckerbucks and massive amounts of shiny new election equipment.

      These are places that have been historically slow reporting and always claimed poverty as the reason they can not count votes on time. Yet in 2020 after
      receiving massive amounts of Zuckerbucks and lots o election equipment – they were SLOWER and LESS accurate than ever before.
      This is also where we have the allegation by a truck driver that he drove a truck with over 200,000 filled in ballots from NYC to PA a few weeks before the election.

      This was forwarded to DOJ, the US Attorney wanted to investigate. Barr ordered him to forward the case to the PA democrat AG where it died. This was an INTERSTATE Election fraud case – it was OBVIOUSLY the DOJ’s business.

      While we are seeing Republican states fixing problems in their voting laws accross the country – that is clearly not enough – I PA efforts to fix election problems were veto’d by the govenor.

      PA voters are “mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore” – in March 2021, Voters Overwhelmingly passed TWO separate constitutional amendments stripping the Governor of Covid emergency authority.
      And this despite the Governor deliberately wording the referendum ballot language to be indecipherable.

      PA has been a purple state most of my life. I am expecting it will be RED come November.

      Further, this anger is NOT about Biden, or the federal Mess. Pennsylvanians are very angry at PA democrats.

      With Toomey retiring Democrats should have had a shot at a Senate Seat Pickup – that is not likely.

      They are also near certain to lose the governorship.

      Finally, as with other stupid tactics that democrats have tried – the disasterous 2020 election was a ONE TIME THING.

      I expect in 2023 PA laws to be fixed,
      But we must get through 2022 with the democratic fraud machine fully operational

      But people are prepared. When you know how the game is played – throwing sand in the gears, catching them in the act, or matching Democrats bogus vote for bogus vote are all options.

      1. John B. Say,

        “ Act 77 required mailin Ballots to be delivered to a SINGLE specific location in each county by the post office – or by hand by the voter during ordinary business hours.
        The SoS expanded that to Any election office within the county – not the law, but still not totally insecure. The Courts expanded this to dozens of unattended ballot boxes throughout the country”

        Act 77 was deemed unconstitutional by a state court but that is ultimately left for the Pennsylvania Supreme court to decide.

        As for the ballot box issue. The PA SCOTUS was correct in interpreting the law. The wording in the statute only mentions the elections office and it doesn’t specifically state ballot boxes are limited to the physical building where the election office is located. Just as one says “the office of the President” doesn’t always mean the physical structure.

        The ballot box locations were not specified in the law. Only the elections office, as in the local institution responsible for elections in the county, can decide where to put drop boxes.

        The argument relied on the extreme, literal wording of the statute and the PA SCOTUS correctly noted that interpreting it that way would make other parts of the statute illogical.

        No fraud occurred in Pennsylvania. Even those alleged at drop boxes.

        1. After all of your deception exposed in my last response, why should anyone believe anything you say?

        2. You are correct that a State court deemed Act 77 Unconstitutional .

          Courts are NOT the legislature – PA SCOTUS had only two choices –
          Determine that Act 77 is unconstitutional – in which case the prior law governs the election.

          Or determine that Act 77 is constititonal – in which case the Text of the law is binding.

          As I noted before Act 77 was a carefully worked out compromise by republicans and democrats in PA – including Gov. Wolf and his offices.

          Specifically because of that and because of the lack of Trust between republicans and democrats ACT 77 had an EXPLICIT poison pill.

          By default if one provision of a law is unconstitutional – the whole law is unconstitutional. to deal with this MANY laws have severability provisions written in – asserting that if one of several parts of the law are found unconstitutional the rest of the law should be examined without those provisions. As I said this is common, but NOT the default – legislatures must add severabilty provisions.

          ACT 777 had a NON-Severability provision – it explictly found that if any part of the law was found unconstitutional – or modified by the courts the entire law was self revoked.

          PA SCOTUS radically modified ACT 77 – esssentially rewriting it – which is NOT a power that the state constitution delegates to the courts.

          And you wonder why the courts are not trusted ?

        3. You really are clueless – there is no provision for mailin ballot boxes in ACT 77 AT ALL.

          The law was Clear – Mail the ballot to THE county election office OR hand deliver it there.

          Ballot boxes are NOT part of the law.

          The court made them up out of whole cloth.

          Even you note that the law only mentions SPECIFIC elections offices as legitimate places to deliver ballots.

          Your – and the courts argument is stupid –

          If the law says you must provide voter ID to vote – that does not mean killing someone else and taking their ID is allowed.

          It is not a requirement of the PA legislature to imagine every single possible other means that some idiot could conceive of to collect ballots and explictly ban those.

          The PA SCOTUS law is egregiously bad – because it represents a judicial philosophy that is unlimited in power.
          It effectively renders the existance of a legislature meaningless.

          I have constantly told you that it is a requirement that the law must be read narrowly.
          This is more than ideolgy – it is a logical requirement.
          Once you allow laws to be read beyond the narrowest interpretation of what is written – they become a play ground fo the executive and judicial to do whatever they please. And we are lawless.

        4. You are correct – the office of the president does NOT refer to a physical structure – and the county office of elections does not refer to a specific structure.

          This is NOT about buildings.

          It is however about singular vs. plural.

          There is only ONE county office of elections. There is only own President.
          The president can move – but he is always in ONE place at a time.

          A county is free to move its office of elections. But there is still only ONE.

          Nor are dozens of unattended ballot boxes each mini “county offices of elections”.

          I would further note that the restrictions within ACT 77 that were placed there were done so EXPLICITLY as antifraud measures.

          You do not seem to grasp that legislatures write the laws – courts determine whether those laws are constitutional and if they are apply them in the NARROWEST reading ALWAYS – because broad readings are ALWAYS lawless.

          One of the problems with your argument – and that of the PA SCOTUS is that SCOTUS made it perfectly clear they did not care what the law said – so there was absolutely no way for the legislature to write the law that SCotus was not going to do whatever it pleased.
          That is what lawlessness means.

        5. The law did not authorize ballot boxes AT ALL.

          You do not seem to understand – even in the most left wing nut version of the law – legislatures write laws.
          They can if they so choose delegate some details to the executive,
          but they are REQUIRED to do so, because the power to make law is SOLELY vested in the ELECTED legislature.
          ACT 77 could have said – county election offices will determine where ballot boxes can go.

          The law did not. The law did NOT permit ballot boxes at all.
          The law could have said the county election office can specify alternate locations to return ballots.
          The law did not.

          I would refer you to the the long discourse on ballot harvesting and 2000 mules.

          Voters are required by law to vote at the polls. They are not free to vote anywhere they want. They are not free to vote in whatever precinct suites them. They are required to vote at the ONE precinct that they reside in. This is a centuries old form of Voter ID – for MOST of US history precincts were small enough that the election officials KNEW you and KNEW you were eleigable to vote and they would not allow you to vote if they did not.

          Regardless in person voting is limited to ONE place.
          Likewise absentee voting is limited to ONE place. In PA an absentee vote must be cast at the county courthouse.
          The same “county elections office”.

          You come to the office – they check your voter registration, they check your voter ID and they give you a ballot,
          and send you to a booth. You may not leave the office, you may not talk to anyone, you may not show anyone your ballot, you may not take a picture of your ballot. You may not leave the office with your ballot. It is very much like inperson voting – except that it occurs BEFORE election day.

          Regardless, AGIAN ONE PLACE. The legislature could have allowed absentee voting at every JP’s office, or at every notary republic.
          And I am not opposed to its doing so. But it did not. And neither the Secretary of State nor the court are free to say – no, people can absentee vote at a long list of places not identified in the law.
          The legislatoure makes the law.

          Even what you call “interpretting” the law – explicitly means determining what the legislature intended. NOT what the judges prefer.

          reading a law narrowly means if the legislature did not say something they did not intend it.

          These requirements are not optional. They are underpinnings of the rule of law.

          You presume that they are inherently political – as in conservative. That is actually false. The requirements to narrow reading of the law are apolitical. The left’s living constitutionalism and legislation by judicial fiat could be just as easily adopted by the right as the left.

          The courts ultimately found Trump’s use of emergency funds to build the wall to be constitutional.
          Congress had granted the president to power to re-arrange funds in the event of an emergency. There was an emergency by congresses definition in the law, and even worse – construction of the law had already been authorized since the 80’s.

          But the courts could have just as easily said – the wall has already been authorized – we do not care that Congress refuses to allocate funds – they authorized the wall you can build it. But that is a violation of the rules of statutory interpretation – and the rule of law – requiring NARROW reading of the law. If congress wanted to fund the wall they could have.

          Further – following leftist activism the court could have said – it does not matter if a wall is authorized or congress allocated money – obviously it is necescary according to our ideology – so the president can build it.

          Put simply – the purported conservative means of reading the law and constitution is NOT conservative. It is logical, ethical and the requirement of the rule of law.

          While the means the left seeks – is not progressive – it is immoral and dangerous and can be employed by any ideology.

        6. You really know nothing about PA.

          Election fraud ALWAYS occurs in PA – including 2020.

          The only question is how large a scale was it in 2020.

          I would note that without mailin voting – 200K of fraudulent votes in PA – is not unusual.

          Todate as in every election – PA still has 274K more ballots than people who voted.

  12. Those that don’t see that there is a serious issue with the election system in the United States have been refusing to look.
    Was the 2020 election fair and legitimate ?
    Is mainstream media objective, are they presenting information without bias ?
    THERE IS A PROBLEM THAT MUST BE CORRECTED BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTION.
    This site – https://electionfraud20.org – presents evidence of a coordinated, funded, illegal(?) ballot trafficking network.

    1. “Compiled by Si Williams, non-US resident, and other contributors”

      Another questionable site.

      1. That has the name of the court cases and hyperlinks to prove validity. ATS, you quote hoaxes from the Washington Post. You have no credibility.

      2. Truth is not determined by the citizenship of the speaker.
        Or even the speaker themselves.

        Do not watch listen to those you do not like – but watch the videos.
        election fraud has been proven to all but the physically or mentally blind.

  13. Without a doubt, this nation has two sets of law and two sets of morality.
    Facts speak louder than words.
    Nothing is more powerful than the truth.
    We all can voice our opinion, but everyone is Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

  14. Dumb smokers got no reason.
    Dumb smokers got no reason!
    Dumb Repubs got no reason to live!

    1. Liberty2nd: Your handle describes your agenda Liberty 2nd, one can only surmise that for you, authoritarianism is 1st.

  15. Amy Tottenberg is a far-left activist, not a judge. She’s leftwinger Nina Tottenberg’s sister. Laurance Tribe isn’t even American – he’s an Eastern European Jew who came to America by way of China. He has no allegiance to the United States as his rantings prove. As for the Fourteenth Amendment, large numbers of former Confederate officers and officials later served the United States both in government and the military, including some who rose to star rank. It was an amendment for the times and no longer applies. By the way, the 750,000 figure is for total Civil War deaths, not combat deaths, which were about a third of the total. Far more men died of sickness and disease than died in battle, which is true of most wars. The 750,000 revision is not new. It’s been around for at least a decade. By the way, the vast majority of Civil War deaths were on the Union side.

    1. “Amy Tottenberg is a far-left activist, not a judge.”

      She’s a judge, whether you can admit it or not.

      “Laurance Tribe isn’t even American – he’s an Eastern European Jew who came to America by way of China.”

      Oh look, an anti-Semite is trying to pretend that a Jewish American is not an American.

      Tribe is an American, whether you can admit it or not.

      “It was an amendment for the times and no longer applies.”

      Greene’s lawyers can argue that in their appeal. I doubt that this attempt to disqualify Greene will work. I’m more curious whether any of her testimony conflicts with evidence that the DOJ and J6 Committee have, for example, if she lied about whether she asked Meadows to invoke the Insurrection Act or if she lied about the extent of her ties to Ali Alexander.

    2. semi, what do you have against Jews? Dershowitz is a Jew. What did he do to you? Not all Jews are liberals. Do you dislike conservative Jews as well or was your comment just in frustration of Tribe who was a brilliant man that is no longer brilliant?

    3. Semc…I have little regard for Tribe’s legal views, however, your Anti-Semitic rant about him is despicable, and it makes your comments that much less worhwhile or appreciated. You owe Mr. Tribe and those of the Jewish faith, an apology.

  16. In a democracy, there are official decisions. One example is the vote counts in the States determining who won the Presidency. These can be challenged to an official recount, but then if not overturned by the recount, the original decision stands.

    Another class of official decisions are court case verdicts. And, appellate decisions.

    Another class of official decisions are laws passed by elected representatives. Or, Constitutional Amendments ratified by 3/4 of the states.

    Where Trump debased his office was in defying an official decision about having lost the election (after the recounts and court cases firmly established his loss). Trump’s noxious, egotistic theory is that who won is still a “matter of opinion”. It is not. To aver that official decisions of the greatest magnitude can be dismissed with open defiance is an insurrectionist’s creed. It is subversive infowarfare.

    Trump fomented a rebellion against the authority of the many States through the Electoral College to elect the next President. He and his co-conspirators should go to prison for this brazen “gaming” of the Constitution.

    Joe Biden is equally brazen in his defiance of the Constitutional duty of Office to see that the laws be faithfully executed in regards to illegal immigration. He should be co-impeached with VP Harris for the largesse of their criminality in harboring by now millions of illegal aliens, and advancing the reach and power of international smuggling cartels.

    This country is facing its gravest threat to democracy in failing to punish those who game the system. Gaming the law has been turned into a sport of the elites, and the only ones who can restore discipline are a determined citizenry able to uphold that which is official, i.e. not a matter of opinion. The elites have been playing the citizenry into taking up opposing-team-postures, while the core of democracy rots under corrupt gaming.

    Only an independent-thinking citizenry who can penalize those who game the system without regard to “cause” can save our democracy.
    This means having the courage to believe solutions to problems be not only the right choices, but obtained through the right process. Cheaters will have to be thrown under-the-bus to assure the 2nd part.

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