In a story that’s gone largely unreported in the mainstream media, the six conservatives on the Supreme Court just announced that they’ll probably rig the 2024 Presidential election.

GOP strategists are looking at the states that have Republican legislatures who would be willing to throw out the will of the people to take the White House back for whoever their candidate ends up being.

via Twitter

Progressive Radio Host Thom Hartmann wrote up this bleak, but not totally unrealistic scenario on Twitter:

It’s November, 2024, and the presidential race between Biden and DeSantis has been tabulated by the states and called by the networks. Biden won 84,355,740 votes to DeSantis’ 77,366,412, clearly carrying the popular vote.

But the popular vote isn’t enough: George W. Bush lost to Al Gore by a half-million votes and Donald Trump lost to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes but both ended up in the White House. What matters is the Electoral College vote, and that looks good for Biden, too.

As CNN is reporting, the outcome is a virtual clone of the 2020 election: Biden carries the same states he did that year and DeSantis gets all the Trump states. It’s 306 to 232 in the Electoral College, a 74-vote Electoral College lead for Biden, at least as calculated by CNN and the rest of the media. Biden is heading to the White House for another 4 years.
Until the announcement comes out of Georgia. Although Biden won the popular vote in Georgia, their legislature decided it can overrule the popular vote and just awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes to DeSantis instead of Biden.

An hour later we hear from five other states with Republican-controlled legislatures where Biden won the majority of the vote, just like he had in 2020: North Carolina (15 electoral votes), Wisconsin (10), Michigan (16), Pennsylvania (20) and Arizona (11).

Each has followed Georgia’s lead and their legislatures have awarded their Electoral College votes—even though Biden won the popular vote in each state—to DeSantis.

Thus, a total of 88 Electoral College votes from those six states move from Biden to DeSantis, who’s declared the winner and will be sworn in on January 20, 2025.

Wolf Blitzer announces that DeSantis has won the election, and people pour into the streets to protest. They’re met with a hail of bullets as Republican-affiliated militias have been rehearsing for this exact moment and their allies among the police refuse to intervene.

After a few thousand people lay dead in the streets of two dozen cities, the police begin to round up the surviving “instigators,” who are charged with seditious conspiracy for resisting the Republican legislatures of their states.

After he’s sworn in on January 20th, President DeSantis points to the ongoing demonstrations, declares a permanent state of emergency, and suspends future elections, just as Trump had repeatedly told the world he planned for 2020.

Ron DeSantis via Flickr / Gage Skidmore

That may sound like a stretch, but the conservative justices on the Supreme Court just announced one of the cases they’ll decide early on next year will decide if that scenario is constitutional or not, which it almost assuredly is.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution lays out the process clearly:

“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress…

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons … which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President…”

Notice there is no mention of the will of the people there.

Robert Barnes of The Washington Post explained how the court’s possible decision in 2023 could affect the future of voting in the U.S:

“The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will consider what would be a radical change in the way federal elections are conducted, giving state legislatures sole authority to set the rules for contests even if their actions violated state constitutions and resulted in extreme partisan gerrymandering for congressional seats.

While the main issue being debated in Moore v Harper, scheduled for a hearing this October, is a gerrymander that conflicts with North Carolina’s constitution, the issue at the core of the debate is what’s called the “Independent State Legislature Doctrine.”

And NPR adds:

“The independent state legislature theory was first invoked by three conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices in the celebrated Bush v. Gore case that handed the 2000 election victory to George W. Bush. In that case, the three cited it to support the selection of a Republican slate of presidential electors.”

via Twitter

The Electoral Count Act does require a governor’s sign-off, and half of the states in question have Democratic governors, so that may seem like a safeguard against such election-rigging by the court, but the question of precedence, the Constitution or the Act, will be the big issue in 2024 if things go this way.

If the court says it’s the Constitution and not the Electoral Count Act, states’ constitutions and laws, and above all, the will of the people, then expect the GOP to lean into the rigged election and take back the White House by any means possible, even if it’s the scenario described by Thom Hartmann above.

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Christopher Powell