Now that we’re in the New Year, the 2024 presidential election campaign is about to kick into high gear. While it’s certainly fun to have President Donald Trump back in the ring and fighting, the system doesn’t inspire confidence.
If the 2022 midterms taught us anything, it’s that Democrats are going to keep brazenly cheating until they’re stopped. They’re daring us to stop them at this point. If most elected GOP members and the Republican National Committee won’t even admit that mass-scale electoral fraud is happening, we can’t fix the system. There are several hopeful signs to watch for as we head into 2023 though, including a couple of big Supreme Court cases.
We’ve already talked extensively about the Brunson Petition for a Writ of Certiorari with the court. That’s the case where the four trumpet-playing brothers from Utah have sued all the way to the Supreme Court to overturn the 2020 election. The reason? Members of Congress violated their oath of office by refusing to investigate valid and reasonable fraud claims in a determinative number of states. That case is on the docket for Friday, January 6, 2023. The Supreme Court will decide whether to hear the case, and if they were to hear it and find in favor of the plaintiffs, the remedy would be to overturn the 2020 election result, install President Trump and (*ugh) Mike Pence in office, and remove 300+ Members of Congress.
Long shot? Sure. But we live in interesting times, so who knows?
Another case on the docket for January 6th could end up imposing a nationwide ban on no-excuse mail-in voting. Now we’re cookin’ with gas!
The case is Timothy R. Bonner, et al., Petitioners v. Leigh Chapman, in Her Official Capacity as Acting Secretary of Pennsylvania, et al. The case has already been ruled on by two lower courts. At issue is Pennsylvania’s Act 77.
Every Republican voter in the country and a large number of Democrats don’t trust mail-in voting at all (or machines). Mail-in voting breaks chain of custody on a ballot anywhere from 4 to 12 times as it works its way through the system, until the ballot ends up in a counting center. It’s an absurd way to run elections, and almost all GOP voters know this. So, what did the Republican-controlled legislature in Pennsylvania do back in 2019?
They passed Act 77, which made mass no-excuse mail-in voting the new way that the state would run elections. Democrat Governor Tom Wolf eagerly signed it into law, as you can imagine.
The petitioners in the case are suing because they say that mail-in voting clearly violates Article 1, Section 4 of the US Constitution, which reads:
“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.”
Their argument is that mass mail-in voting is not a “Place” where people can legitimately vote. A “Place” is a designated… well, place. Like a voting precinct, a church, a school or other public building designated by a state legislature. That’s traditionally what a “Place” has been for hundreds of years in America until some states began stupidly adopting mail-in voting recently.
A “Place,” the plaintiffs argue, does not mean every single-family home, every apartment, every townhome, every condominium, every PO Box, every golf course, every construction site, every nursing home, and every vacant lot within a zip code. (A volunteer canvass in 2021 found that there were multiple vacant lots in Maricopa County, Arizona that had been mailed 150 or more ballots.)
Gregory Teufel, the attorney for the plaintiffs, argues that “Once there are places specified for elections, that introduces an element of accountability to elections by giving you a place you can go to watch the election happening and make sure nothing is being done incorrectly and that the law is being followed.”
When the Founding Fathers wrote that legislatures should designate “Places” for voting, they likely didn’t mean “everywhere.” They were much more specific in their language and meaning than that. Which is why we’re holding our breath as constitutional originalists like Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch review this case on January 6th. Only four Justices need to vote in favor of the case to advance it for a full hearing and a ruling. And that could mean a nationwide ban on no-excuse mass mail-in balloting in 2023 – which is exactly what we need to happen. We’ll keep you posted!