Republican leader of the Michigan Senate said The legislature does not name its own voters. But if it does, Congress will have to decide what to accept if the governor names the contesting election slate. Last week several election lawyers said federal law would favor the governor-appointed slate, in which Congress was paralyzed. In theory, Michigan’s electoral vote could be completely thrown away by Congress.
If Congress did that, or elected a Republican against the will of a state electorate, the country would be in a constitutional crisis zone. But that will not change the outcome of the election yet, because there is not a single swing state that could destroy Mr Biden’s victory. It will have to flip many states to make it happen.
In a very confusing situation, Professor Levinson said, “Mom and Dad, Congress means, come in. This is what gets their dessert, this is what goes to bed without dinner.” “Punchline, of course, in any event, Joe Biden becomes president on January 20th.”
What does this mean for the American system?
Regardless of the consequences, the fact that the Trump campaign and other Republicans have been able to put so much confusion into what the conventions should be shows just how much disruption there is in organizations under the democratic process.
What is happening is, in many respects, unnamed territory. The Michigan Electoral Act clearly states what happens if a district canvassing board fails to certify the results of an election: the state canvassing board is responsible. But it does not say what will happen if the state canvassing board makes deadlocks as well.
“That’s where the wheels come out,” Professor Levinson said. I am not surprised that they do not say ‘if everything falls apart’ because they act under the presumption that they will act in good faith. “
In other words: the system is not designed for this.
One lesson of the Trump era is that much of American democracy is built on rules, not laws, which continues by common consent. The chapter in Michigan is an example of what happens when consent ceases to be common.
Kathleen Gray contributed to the reporting.