‘Maximus Uncensored’

FWIW The VP Role (addendum to “Constitutional Plan” pinned thread): -The VP is Constitutionally empowered to “count” electoral votes. -Under 12A, he alone counts the ballots and is the arbiter of disputes. Congress, largely, is just in an observational role.

FWIW VP 2 -For much of our history, especially during Election 1876, the VP exercised this power. -Confusion begins over the Electoral Count Act of 1887, passed after the chaos of Election 1886. -This act seeks to restrain the VP’s role by inserting provisions for objections.

FWIW VP 3 -However, it is unconstitutional because it 1) seeks to reduce the Constitutional power vested in the VP and 2) forces Congress to accept the “executive” (governor’s) slates of electors if a dispute cannot be settled. Both statutes violate Article 2.

FWIW VP 4 -In 1887, Republicans maintained the Act was unconstitutional. Since then, scholarship has supported this. -The VP also has the power to “preserve order”, the extent of which can be considerable as he oversees the Joint-Session of Congress, not the House Speaker.

FWIW VP 5 -If the VP wished to, he could claim a degree of constitutional authority and refuse to count a slate from contested states (See Hawaii 1960). -As a law professor said, “doing so would go against the grain of both the Electoral Count Act and historical practice.”

FWIW VP 6 -But recent (post-1887) “historical practice” is not Constitutional law. -And what could members of Congress do? Run to SCOTUS? Good luck with that.