Not satisfied with the results of the 2012 presidential election, Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips has a “brilliant” idea on how to disregard the results of the presidential election and have the losing candidate, Republican Mitt Romney, installed as president.
Is there a way to stop this?
Yes, there is.
And the best part – this is totally constitutional.
The 12th Amendment of the Constitution as well as Article II of the Constitution govern the Electoral College.
According to the 12th Amendment, for the Electoral College to be able to select the president, it must have a quorum of two-thirds of the states voting. If enough states refuse to participate, the Electoral College will not have a quorum. If the Electoral College does not have a quorum or otherwise cannot vote or decide, then the responsibility for selecting the president and vice president devolves to the Congress.
The only problem with Judson Phillips’ scheme is that it’s not actually based in reality – or the Constitution for that matter – as noted by Aaron Blake of the Washington Post.
Phillips cites the 12th Amendment as proof that the Electoral College needs a two-thirds quorum (i.e. having enough states present to conduct a vote), but in fact, the 12th Amendment only governs quorums in the House. There is nothing in the law, it appears, that prevents the Electoral College from electing a president even if some states don’t participate.
I guess Judson Phillips, a leader of the Tea Party movement, has a much looser interpretation of the Constitution than the rest of us.