Tags: 2020 Elections | Donald Trump | Joe Biden | Trump Administration | election day | constitution

Scholars, Historians: Biden Wrong, Trump Can't Change Election Date

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By    |   Tuesday, 28 April 2020 01:19 PM

Speaking during a recent virtual fundraiser, Joe Biden made news nationwide and abroad when he charged that President Donald Trump was plotting to delay or cancel the November election to remain in power.

"Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can't be held," declared the presumed Democratic nominee for president on April 23.

Over the weekend, legal scholars and presidential historians who spoke to Newsmax agreed that this was not going to happen because it's not allowed under the Constitution.

"False and absurd," is how Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, characterized Biden's claim.

"No president can change the date of the presidential election," von Spakovsky told us. "Only Congress can do that. And in nearly every case that has gotten to the Supreme Court challenging the president's actions, the court has ruled in his favor."

Von Spakovsky contrasted that with "the court ruling against the Obama/Biden administration, saying they acted unconstitutionally when they provided administrative amnesty for illegal aliens through the DAPA program. Or when the Court said the Obama/Biden administration acted unconstitutionally when it tried to recess appoint nominees to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was not actually in recess."

"It is Biden who has repeatedly shown his contempt for the constitutional limitations on the power of the executive," he said.

Professor David Bernstein of the Antonin Scalia Law School at Virginia's George Mason University pointed out that "Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date of picking [presidential] electors, which nowadays is Election Day, and says it must be uniform throughout the country."

Bernstein added, "this has been obeyed through depression and war, and is not going to be changed because of coronavirus. Trump is not going to try to do this, and if he tried, he wouldn't succeed. The only actor who could change the date of the election is Congress."

Historian David Pietrusza, author of six books on presidential election years, told us, "while the Constitution does not provide for a fixed popular election date — for example, Maine voted in September until 1958 — it does mandate that electors gather in mid-December. Trump would have no power to interfere with that.

"And, frankly, such an attempt by him would be beyond any action by him to this point. His bark is several dozen decibels above his bite. Thus, for Biden to have raised this issue really does the Republic no good, particularly in this time of unprecedented uncertainty, and does precious little good for his credibility either in the long or short term."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Legal scholars and presidential historians who spoke to Newsmax said the Constitution would not allow President Donald Trump to change the date of the upcoming election.
election day, constitution
Tuesday, 28 April 2020 01:19 PM
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