2020: The ‘Yogi Berra’ Election

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

Yogi Berra famously said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

2020 ain’t over…

Last week, the State of Texas tested the will of the Supreme Court if the United States (SCOTUS) to defend the fundamental legitimacy of America’s federal system.

Despite holding original rather than appellate jurisdiction in disputes between states, SCOTUS skipped the test.

On December 8, Texas filed suit accusing Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin of conducting elections that violated their own state election laws, and certifying outcomes that were, by definition, unconstitutionally determined.

Texas alleged that large numbers of votes cast illegally in those states damaged not only their own citizens, but also citizens in other states, including Texas. Eighteen other states joined the suit.

Texas made a powerful constitutional argument that had nothing to do with who won, only with how. Texas accused the four defendant states of changing their voting rules without regard for their own constitutionally-prescribed legislative processes, and allowed votes under contrived new, illegal “rules.” Legislators from some of the contested states, including Pennsylvania, agreed.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued this statement:

“Trust in the integrity of our election processes is sacrosanct and binds our citizenry and the States in this Union together. Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin destroyed that trust and compromised the security and integrity of the 2020 election. The states violated statutes enacted by their duly elected legislatures, thereby violating the Constitution. By ignoring both state and federal law, these states have not only tainted the integrity of their own citizens’ vote, but of Texas and every other state that held lawful elections. Their failure to abide by the rule of law casts a dark shadow of doubt over the outcome of the entire election. We now ask that the Supreme Court step in to correct this egregious error.”

The Texas case differed from other election challenges in that it didn’t require time-consuming fact-finding into the thousands of sworn witness affidavits charging fraudulent votes and vote counting. Those remain unaddressed.

While states make their own election laws, results for national office in each can affect every other state, so illegal votes in four states may have overridden the will of legitimate voters, and wrongly-determined who will preside over America’s constitutional union of states.

Texas asked the Court to invalidate only votes that are illegal under the four defendant states’ own laws, and direct the states to count only legally-cast ballots. People who cast – or manufactured – illegal votes cannot be “disenfranchised,” while fraudulent votes do disenfranchise legal voters.

Pennsylvania argued that SCOTUS should deny lawsuits challenging the Commonwealth’s certification because there is no precedent for overturning a state’s election results.

It was a pretty big deal at the time, but perhaps Pennsylvania officials forgot that, in 2000, SCOTUS reversed Florida’s Supreme Court for changing election rules in violation of its state constitution.

SCOTUS may have forgotten, too.

On December 11, SCOTUS refused to hear the case, saying only that Texas, lacked “standing,” or the legal right to sue. In declining, the court ducked hearing the merits – the factual allegations – of the case, even though evidence in each defendant state confirms them.

The motives and/or the quality of reasoning behind their decision aside, the justices damaged the public’s perceptions of the election process.

Post-election polling reveals that about half of Americans, including a large majority of Republicans, even one-third of Democrats, think Democrats stole the presidential election, a belief that SCOTUS’s abdication may only reinforce. If Joe Biden is inaugurated, he will be widely viewed as illegitimate.

Moreover, Americans will doubt the validity – the fairness – of elections, and there will be a loss of faith in the legitimacy of state and federal governments, including America’s court system.

Confirming too late that the election was wrongly-decided – or worse, stolen – would be a national disaster.

In fact, without public confidence, 2020 may never be entirely “over.”

If the 2020 presidential election is not legally and forensically examined, state by state, and abuses remedied, cheaters will be emboldened. If citizens are not convinced of the election’s legitimacy, core national institutions will fall into disrepute, and the republic could be lost.

In that event, only America’s enemies will win, their “victory” enabled by the perpetrators of, partisans who celebrated, and everyone who turned a blind eye to election illegalities and fraud.