Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Milwaukee Press Club 'Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism' 2020 & 2021 Award Winners

Election law at center stage as legal battles continue in several states


(The Center Square) – Lawsuits remain ongoing in several states alleging election irregularities and fraud, and improperly followed state and federal procedures, which could impact how and when Electoral College votes are cast on Dec. 14. Before then exists an obscure rule, called the Safe Harbor date – Tuesday, Dec. 8, this year – established by federal law.

The Safe Harbor date already plays into a recent ruling made by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

In one of the lawsuits brought against the state of Pennsylvania, Alito on Sunday asked Pennsylvania officials to file briefs no later than the morning of Dec. 8, moving up the deadline from Dec. 9. The request is in response to an emergency injunction petition filed by Republicans seeking to invalidate or rescind the results of the Nov. 3 election already certified by the state.

At issue are several key dates established by federal law in 1948: Dec. 8 and 14 and Jan. 6. Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, is established by the U.S. Constitution.

In 2000, 37 days after media outlets declared that former Vice President Al Gore won the presidential election, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a legal issue related to Florida’s election and ultimately, Al Gore did not receive the necessary Electoral College votes of 270 to win. The key deadline then, as is this year, is the date when the Electoral College meets to vote on each state’s certified votes.

Federal law requires electors to vote on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December of the presidential election year (US code 3, Section 7), which this year is Dec. 14. Electors will meet in person to cast their votes. In 32 states, electors must vote for the candidate chosen by the winner of the popular vote of their state.

In July of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can legally penalize or replace faithless electors, those who do not vote according to the popular vote of their state. Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia require electors to vote for the candidate selected by the popular vote. Fifteen states remove, penalize or cancel the vote of a faithless elector: Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.

The Supreme Court may once again rule on a case brought before it as it did in 2000 and two cases in Pennsylvania that Alito has already weighed in on. Others anticipate cases in other states to be heard before the high court. But if they are, many look to Dec. 14 as the benchmark.

Each state has its own set of election laws and codes that county and state officials must follow, subject to federal law and the U.S. Constitution, as outlined in a brief by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

After the popular vote, governors of states sign and seal Certificates of Ascertainment in order for their respective states’ electors to vote (U.S. Code 3, Section 6) on Dec. 14.

In the 116th Congress, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, proposed changing this date to Jan. 2 to give states more time to certify results.

U.S. Code 3, Section 5 stipulates that if states follow established procedures and certify their votes at least six days prior to Dec. 14, then that determination is final and cannot be later challenged by Congress.

But, “the Supreme Court has ruled that the law does not actually require states to appoint Electors by that date in order for those Electoral Votes to be counted by Congress when determining the winner of the presidential election,” the Thomas More Society’s Amistad Project notes. “In the current context, states have laws in place awarding presidential Electors according to the popular vote.

“Because the laws governing the vote were violated in numerous ways in several key states, certification of the election results cannot be said to have been made in accordance with the laws established in those states. Therefore, the responsibility still rests with state legislatures to appoint their state’s Electors, because no ‘determination made pursuant to such law’ has actually been made.”

Known as the “Safe Harbor” date, some states have already certified their votes ahead of Dec. 8. But like Rubio, in the 116hth Congress, Rep. David E. Price, D-N.C., proposed changing the Safe Harbor date to Jan. 1.

Both the Dec. 8 and 14 deadlines have “zero constitutional basis,” the Amistad Project argues. The nonpartisan nonprofit organization most recently filed a lawsuit contesting the election results in Georgia.

“The only Electoral College deadline specifically required by the Constitution is noon on January 20, at which point President Trump’s first term officially ends,” the Amistad Project argues in its 8-page report. “All other deadlines – the ‘safe harbor’ deadline of December 8, the Electoral College voting on December 14, and even the congressional vote count on January 6 – are dates set by federal law.

“Moreover, these dates are arbitrary, being based on obsolete and outdated concerns,” the project maintains. “It is also well established that the U.S. Constitution is the highest law in the land, holding precedence over both state and federal laws. In the event that federal law presents an obstacle to faithfully adhering to constitutional requirements, it is necessary to disregard the statute in favor of the plain meaning of the Constitution.”

The Amistad Project argues that state and local officials enabled election irregularities that led to more than 1.2 million potentially fraudulent ballots cast on Nov. 3 and that the existing federal laws are still subject to the U.S. Constitution.

“Through rigorous investigations supporting our litigation, we demonstrate that state and local officials brazenly violated election laws in several swing states in order to advance a partisan political agenda,” Phill Kline, director of The Amistad Project, said in a statement. “As a result, it is impossible for those states to determine their presidential electors in line with the arbitrary deadline set forth via federal statute in 1948, and thus, the only deadline that matters is Jan. 20, 2021.”

By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square
Go to Source
Reposted with permission

tammy baldwin biden

Sen. Tammy Baldwin Says Biden Presidency Is ‘One of the Most Successful’ in Generations

Tammy Baldwin praised the "accomplishments" of the Biden administration. Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin insists that...
tommy thompson trump

Wisconsin Govs Tommy Thompson & Scott Walker Will ‘Criss-Cross’ State to Boost Trump

"The momentum is building" - Wisconsin GOP Chair Brian Schimming Former Wisconsin Governors Tommy Thompson and...
Wisconsin School Choice Lawsuit Expanding School Choice Kirk Bangstad Wisconsin school choice Milwaukee School Choice

Response to MPS Debacle MUST Include Expanded School Choice for All Families

No response to the regrettable MPS debacle will be adequate if it does not include...
trump milwaukee

7 Members of Congress DEBUNK Claim Trump Disparaged Milwaukee as a ‘Horrible City’

Seven members of Congress have debunked the misleading media claim that former President Donald Trump...
john e wall

John E. Wall: The Importance of Fathers [Up Against the Wall]

My father, John E. Wall, age 91, passed away on Monday, October 30th, 2017. He...
kamala harris most liberal

Voters Lack Confidence Kamala Harris Can Become President

Vice President Kamala Harris has a fight on her hands if she wants to inherit the Democratic presidential mantle after President Joe Biden’s time is over, according to a new poll.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll shows that voters have serious doubts about Harris’ electability.

The poll found only 14% of voters said it was “very likely” Harris would win a general election for president if she became the Democratic nominee. Another 20% said it was “somewhat likely.”

The poll is especially noteworthy given Biden's age. The incumbent president is 81 years old and appears increasingly in decline.

A moment of confusion for Biden at a June 6 D-Day ceremony went viral last week, the latest in a string of similar incidents. At the same time, Biden remains competitive with former President Donald Trump, though several polls suggest Trump has a lead over the president.

Biden's incidents have led some to speculate that Democrats could or should try to replace Biden at the Democratic convention in Chicago in August. That would be a highly unusual, though not impossible, move. Removing Biden would naturally raise the question about who could replace him, but for now voters seem to lack confidence that Harris could win.

The poll also looked ahead to 2028: “If President Joe Biden were not in the running for president in 2028, which of the following Democrats, if any, would you want to be the Democratic candidate for president?”

While Harris was top of the list among Democrats, she only received 21% support. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg both received 10% support each, while 41% said they were unsure or didn't know.

Only 42% of those polled described Harris as trustworthy, and 44% described her as honest, according to the poll.

Notably, only 36% of those surveyed said Biden should replace Harris as his VP on the ticket.

trump convicted felon

Hell YES, I’m Voting For the Convicted Felon! [WRN Voices]

The dust has now settled after a period of time, when a former president was...

A Do-Over Is Needed on the $252 Million MPS Referendum [WRN VOICES]

By Steve Ewing Time to throw the challenge flag on the MPS referendum. Recently, voters in...
washington county da

Warring Law Enforcement Endorsements in Washington County DA’s Race

Candidates Barry Braatz and Mandy Schepper have each announced major law enforcement endorsements as the...

MPS Failed to Follow State Law by Not Filing Financial Reports With City Clerk

The Milwaukee Public Schools board has failed to follow a state law requiring the district's...

GOP Lawmakers Want Legislative Auditors to Review MPS Finances

(The Center Square) – Republicans at the Wisconsin Capitol don’t want Gov. Tony Evers to waste the chance to get a good look at Milwaukee Public Schools’ shortcomings.

Evers recently called for an operational and an instructional audit of MPS.

“I’m proposing today to go two steps further with two important goals: the first, to audit MPS’ programs and operations in their entirety, and the second, to audit the effectiveness of teaching and instruction of our kids in classrooms across the district,” Evers said.

The governor, however, wants to keep the audit within his administration and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said that’d be a mistake.

“I’m glad that Gov. Evers has called for an audit of the Milwaukee Public School System. Gov. Evers and DPI should work with Joint Legislative Audit Committee Co-Chairs [Eric] Wimberger and [Robert] Wittke to discuss authorizing the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau to audit MPS, DPI and any other involved stakeholders,” LeMahieu said. “The LAB is more than capable of handling this important undertaking independently and transparently without the use of outside contractors.”

The worry is an audit controlled by the governor’s office will not fully look into MPS’s shortcomings.

The calls for audits in Milwaukee Public Schools come after the state withheld nearly $17 million last week because of incomplete and late financial reports. One of those reports was due to the Department of Public Instruction in September 2023.

Evers has asked MPS leaders to be a part of any audit process but warned that not everyone will be invited.

“I also have to say – I’m exceedingly disappointed by the politicking and jockeying I’ve seen since this situation came to light by opportunists who’re seizing this moment to serve their own selfish goals instead of worrying about what matters most: our kids,” Evers added.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos took to social media to accuse the governor of being the one who is playing politics.

“And who do you think [Evers] will suggest conducts the audits?” Vos asked. “The same failed DPI bureaucrats who allowed this to happen or his administration who wanted to dismantle the school choice system so all kids were forced into this MPS mess? We need real reforms to the current mentality where MPS has been protecting the bureaucracy and Gov. Evers has been advocating for shoveling hundreds of millions of dollars into this broken system.”

Report Clearing Biden Biden Approval Rating Americore Biden Acknowledge Hamas Biden Tells Israel Not to Occupy Gaza Biden impeachment Supreme Court Strikes Down Biden’s Student Loan Cancellation

Biden’s New Staffing Requirements Put Most Illinois Nursing Homes in Peril

An industry group says the Biden administration’s new staffing regulations for long-term care facilities are unrealistic.

The mandate requires that all nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding provide a total of at least 3.48 hours of nursing care per resident per day. Plus, nursing homes must have a registered nurse onsite at all times.

Research by shows 82%, or nearly 12,000 facilities in the U.S., will need to hire staff or face being shut down.

Spokesperson Corie Wagner said Illinois is home to the fifth highest number of understaffed nursing homes in the country.

“If we were to apply the new policies and new standards to nursing homes in Illinois today, 84% of facilities would need more staff, and that is really significant,” said Wagner.

The mandate will be phased in over three years, with rural communities having up to five years.

Nursing home operators strongly objected to the minimum staffing proposal in September, saying they already struggle to fill open positions.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in September announced a $75 million campaign to increase the number of nurses in nursing homes.

Nearly 1.2 million residents live in Medicare- and Medicaid-certified, long-term care facilities, but Wagner said that number is expected to increase.

“It’s called the Silver Tsunami, so more Americans are aged 65 or older than ever,” said Wagner. “It's one of the largest segments of our population but the infrastructure we have is not keeping up with our population shift.”

A resolution aimed at overturning Biden’s nursing home staffing mandate has a legitimate chance to pass the U.S. Senate.

tammy baldwin

Protesters Shout at Sen. Tammy Baldwin at Wisconsin Democratic Convention [VIDEO]

Pro-Palestinian protesters shouted at U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin at the state Democratic Convention in Milwaukee...
mps referendum

Milwaukee Public Schools Must Immediately Halt Referendum Spending

Milwaukee Public Schools must immediately halt all spending authorized by the narrowly passed $252 million...

Milwaukee Aldermen Call Out Gov. Evers for Not Sharing MPS Problems With Public

Two Milwaukee aldermen are calling out Gov. Tony Evers' office, questioning why Evers did not...
trump waukesha

Trump Trial Travesty: Let’s Not Lose Hope [Up Against the Wall]

What can I say that others haven’t already said? First, let’s not lose hope. Trump...
biden socialist

Terrorizing Americans: Crime, Wars Under Joe Biden [Up Against a Wall]

The mayhem that is going on currently is a direct result of decisions by Joe...
Mike Thurston, Lesli Boese

FACT CHECK: Waukesha DA Candidate Lesli Boese Disputes Mike Thurston’s Trial Statement

Waukesha Co. DA candidate Lesli Boese wrote that candidate Mike Thurston's accusations about her trials...

Tony Evers’ Nightmare: 9 Arrested, Including Warden, as Corrections Melts Down

"There needs to be some responsibility from the top down," Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt. Gov....
annette ziegler

Number of Attorneys in Wisconsin Plummets 4%, Leading to Crisis in Rural Areas

Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler announced the creation of the Attorney Retention & Recruitment Committee...