Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 13, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

ELECTIONS....My inbox is full of messages from people telling me I'm not nearly scared enough about the possibility of Bush ginning up an excuse to cancel elections in November. Well, maybe I'm not. But before you start seeing black helicopters circling your house, at least consider the mechanics of the whole thing:

  • The only body that can change the date of federal elections is Congress.

  • Assuming the Supreme Court agreed, Congress could delegate this power to a federal commission if it so desired.

  • However, in a couple of weeks everyone goes home for the summer. They come back on September 3rd.

  • The current target for adjournment of the current congressional session is October 1st.

  • In other words, supposing that the Justice Department actually decided (suicidally, in my opinion) to propose legislation to create an election commission with the power to reschedule elections, Congress would have a grand total of four weeks to debate and pass it.

This is impossible, of course, unless the bill had essentially unanimous bipartisan support. Which it wouldn't.

Bottom line: short of a nuclear attack on Washington DC nothing is going to happen and elections will proceed as scheduled. Convinced?

Kevin Drum 3:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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