Class Notes

With everything going on I just want to clear one thing up for the record.  This in no way is an attempt to justify a mob storming the Capitol but deals with the process of Congress contesting the election.  There have been many statements villainizing the Republicans who refused to certify the Electoral College vote on Jan 6.  While everyone has the right to their own opinion, the history of such actions is important to know.

Starting in the 20th Century there were no challenges to the Electoral College vote.  In order for a challenge to be legitimate at least one Congressman and one Senator needs to submit a written challenge.  If this is done, then the Senate must break from counting and debate.  This was done in the 19th Century but had not happened by either house for over a hundred years.

In 2001 however, when Gore was in charge of certifying the vote, 20 Democratic Representatives refused to certify the election.  Among the Representatives in 2001 were Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas, Rep Alcee Hastings of CA and Rep Maxine Waters of CA, all of which are still in Congress today.  They did not get a Senator to join their protest, so Gore went ahead and certified the vote.

The next election was in 2005. Once again 31 Democratic Congressman protested the election results.  This time Barbara Boxer of the Senate joined the protest, so the Senate was forced to debate the fair democratic process that Democrats are so worried about today.  In the end the vote was certified and Bush served his second term.  Among those who voted against the vote were current Representatives Barbara Lee, Jerrold Nadler and again Maxine Waters. 

Finally in 2016 in an effort to deny Trump his presidency about 6 Democratic Congressman rejected the Electoral College Vote, like in 2000 they could not find a Senator to join them.  One of the Representatives claimed she objected because of faulty voting machines.  Most conspiracies are never new.

None of this means Republicans should try to stop the Democratic process today, but as always before you make arguments, you should know the history and make the arguments correctly. 

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