In an op-ed for National Review, Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI8) opposes the effort by some Republicans to block certification of the election on Wednesday.
In the op-ed, “Why Republicans in Congress Shouldn’t Object to Electoral College Certification,” Gallagher explains that what his colleagues are attempting is a bad interpretation of the Electors Clause in the Constitution.
Trump-appointed federal judges in Wisconsin, and on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, have convincingly argued that this is a distortion of the Electors Clause, one that would also require us to reject Republican elector slates in states like Texas where governors changed voting processes amidst the pandemic. It would also require members of Congress to reject our own elections, since we were on the same ballots, even after we have taken the oath of office. That creates a real dilemma: How can Congress vote to decertify the results of the very election that created it? The argument from the objectors renders the entire federal government inert. Like a snake eating its own tail, would we even exist as a Congress in this paradoxical scenario?
Gallagher says that it is up to the states themselves to contest their electors if they decide that there has been vote fraud that could sway the election.
“Yet not a single legislative chamber, including those controlled by Republicans, has done so,” Gallagher writes. “Many of my fellow Republicans have had informal meetings in hallways and Holiday Inns to discuss objecting. But not a single chamber in any of the 50 states has been willing to override the will of its voters based on evidence of fraud. Their silence consents to the Electoral College count.”
Gallagher adds that the idea of Congress choosing the next president instead of the voters is not conservative.
The objectors are going down a dangerous path of vast federal overreach. By even forcing debate today, they are endorsing the pernicious idea that Congress, not the states, is the right forum for litigating — or even worse, relitigating — an election. This is an extremely progressive interpretation of the Constitution. It gives the federal government enormous new powers to regulate how states conduct elections, something the Left has sought for half a century. Until now, conservatives have rightly fought back against this line of legal reasoning. Yet the objectors would throw it all away for a few hours of primetime debate that they concede is unlikely to change the outcome.