Media Mention

Edward Larson: What If Trump Declared an Election Emergency?

August 13, 2020

Note: This piece was originally published in The Bulwark, and was written by Checks & Balances member Edward Larson.

President Trump’s executive orders from last weekend on COVID-19-related economic relief didn’t actually accomplish what the White House suggested they did. But they did provide more evidence of the president’s penchant for acting by executive order. Taken together with his national emergency declaration (the legality of which is still awaiting review by the Supreme Court) , his July 30 tweet about postponing the November elections, and the responses of the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to protests in Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon, the president’s embrace of unilateral executive action raises a troubling question: What if he simply declares a national emergency and orders the delay? Under the Constitution, he can’t legally cancel or delay the November elections, but he could issue an order or executive memorandum instructing or advising the states to do so. Even if many states resisted or ignored the order, here’s how this might be enough to disrupt the voting process and keep him in power.

Continue reading at The Bulwark.