Rep. Brooks: Congress Has ‘Absolute Right’ to Reject a State’s Electoral College Votes
BY JACK PHILLIPS AND JAN JEKIELEK – November 18, 2020
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said that the final outcome of the presidential election may be decided according to the 12th Amendment and Article One and Article Two of the U.S. Constitution when Congress convenes in early January.
“The ultimate say over whether to accept or reject” Electoral College votes for any state “is not a court’s job,” he said. “It is Congress’s job under” the Constitution “coupled with federal statutes that govern this issue.”
“Congress has the absolute right to reject the submitted Electoral College votes of any state, which we believe has such a shoddy election system that you can’t trust the election results that those states are submitting to us, that they’re suspect,” Brooks told The Epoch Times this week. “And I’m not going to put my name in support of any state that employs an election system that I don’t have confidence in.”
Brooks noted that he doesn’t have confidence in the election results in several states, including Georgia and Pennsylvania, where Democrat Joe Biden is the projected winner by razor-thin margins. President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed lawsuits in several states, alleging irregularities, voter fraud, and violations of state election laws.
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) cybersecurity division said this week that the Nov. 3 election was the “most secure” in history, while several states’ secretaries of state have said there isn’t enough evidence of voter fraud that would result in overturning the election. However, Federal Elections Commission Chairman Trey Trainor has said otherwise, claiming he believes “there is voter fraud” in several key states that went for Biden.
Brooks, perhaps in laying out a potential GOP strategy, said that “on January 6th at 1 p.m. Eastern time, the 50 states will report to Congress, the president [of the] Senate will preside over this meeting” and “will report to Congress what they contend are their Electoral College results in their state.”
“If a House member and a senator objects to the submission of Electoral College votes by any state, that immediately triggers a House floor vote and a Senate floor vote on whether to accept or reject those Electoral College votes submitted by that particular state,” the Alabama Republican said. “The amount of debate on the House and Senate floor is limited to two hours under federal law.”
President John Quincy Adams in a 1818 portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1858. (Public Domain)
Brooks said Congress will then determine whether to reject certain electoral votes, thereby taking them “out of the mix.”
His reasoning for removing votes from certain states is because they’re “running a poor election system” and “a system so suspect that you can’t give credibility to the results that are being reported.”
Brooks said under the 12th Amendment, the House would then determine who the president will be, while the Senate will determine the vice president. In the House, he noted, it’s not a simple majority vote, but “it is a majority of the states who determine who the president … will be.”
“Based on the election results we just had, the GOP will control 26 states out of 50,” Brooks said. “That’s a majority, with a possible 27th” as one election hasn’t been called yet, he added.
“Presumably, the Republican nominee would be favored, because the GOP controls a majority of the state delegations in the House of Representatives.”
He noted that a similar situation unfolded nearly 200 years ago during the contingent election of 1824, which saw John Quincy Adams—who was the “second-place finisher”—elected president, since no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote.
Earlier this week, Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz predicted that Trump might attempt to settle the election in Congress.
“Let’s look at the big picture: The big picture now has shifted,” Dershowitz told Newsmax. “I do not believe that President Trump is now trying to get to 270 electoral votes. I think he thinks that’s out of the question.
“What he’s trying to do is to deny Joe Biden 270 votes, by challenging in Pennsylvania, Georgia, in Nevada, in Michigan, in Arizona.” Dershowitz added that not allowing Biden to reach 270 out of 538 votes would eventually force a vote by House state delegations, where Republicans have an advantage over Democrats. Currently, the GOP has a 26-23-1 state delegation majority in the House of Representatives.
“If he can keep the Biden count below 270, then the matter goes to the House of Representatives, where, of course, there is a Republican majority among the delegations of states, and you vote by state if it goes to the House,” Dershowitz said. “He’s trying to follow the playbook of three elections of the 19th century.”