I know it’s passé’ to refer to the Preamble of our beloved Constitution, but in it we see what the Framers expected from their new government. One of their lesser-known goals was to “insure domestic tranquility.” Its inclusion implies the national situation wasn’t tranquil in 1787. Thanks to overly democratic constitutions, the states were often scenes of turmoil.1 A similar overdose of democracy on top of the 17th Amendment will do the same to 21st century America.
The Framers’ EC contributed a lot to domestic tranquility. In Europe, disputes over royal succession occasionally led to civil war. America’s cumbersome Presidential election framework rarely failed to provide a smooth transfer of executive power. Despite the damage to the EC by the “two party system,” which encourages loyalty to one’s party rather than the Constitution, we didn’t experience (until recently) post-election mobs and violence.2
Until the 2000 election, in which Al Gore (algore) filed a recount motion in a Florida circuit court, the judiciary deferred to statutes as long as they accorded with Article II. That all changed when the Florida Supreme Court (FLSC) both ignored and rewrote state laws to put algore in the White House. Had the FLSC simply permitted Florida’s Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, to follow the law, the 2000 election would have been as quiet as any other. But, democrats don’t like to lose. When they do, they get angry and resort to less than peaceful means. First among their means is lawfare, the violent abuse of the law for political ends.
After the FLSC ordered an illegal manual recount in democrat majority counties just a few days before all fifty states were required to submit their electoral votes, Chief Justice Charles T. Wells’ dissent summarized the damage done by his colleagues. He wrote in part, “I have a deep and abiding concern that the prolonging of the judicial process in this counting propels this country and this state into an unprecedented and unnecessary constitutional crisis. The health of our democracy depends on elections being decided by voters – not by judges.” He went on to lament social justice judges who rationalize their activism as “the right thing to do.”
It gets worse, and portends for the worse if democrats do away with the EC.
When the US Supreme Court ordered the FLSC to stop screwing around and follow Florida statutes, it didn’t do so on the basis of Article II. Instead, it wandered into 14th Amendment territory, and by a 5-4 decision, decided that the FLSC violated equal protection of the law in their orders to manually recount votes in only certain counties.
In his 2005 book, Men in Black – How the Supreme Court is Destroying America, Mark Levin speculated that the Scotus originalists, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas, were unable to assemble a majority on the straightforward question of whether the FLSC usurped Article II compliant FL statutes in ordering manual recounts.3 Looking at the decision another way, four justices were fine with manual vote counting until it satisfied the FLSC and elected algore. Ginsburg was one of these justices.
Levin feared the precedent of court electoral interference on equal protection grounds. Does a federal cause of action exist when a party can challenge, for instance, voting mechanisms, voting procedures, tabulation of votes, qualifications of candidates, and so forth?
By law, Congress determines the day for the election of Presidential electors, and six week or so later for Presidential election by the Presidential electors. Thus, our Presidential system has start/stop dates which almost went out the window thanks to Leftist courts. When the people directly vote for President, subject to multitudes of lawsuits, wave goodbye to a smooth transition; count on the Left to clog the judiciary as long as necessary. Think their various support groups will remain quiet in the interim? Not a chance.
Where once federal courts were loath to get involved in elections – Florida courts broke the seal. “Federal judicial intervention,” wrote Levin, “in state and federal elections may now become commonplace.” This proved true in a different way in 2016-2017 thanks to the Clinton campaign and Deep State operatives that lied to the FISA Court to first prevent the election of, and later pushed the removal of, President Trump.
Democracy isn’t perfume; it is poison. And ever-more democracy to cure the ills of democracy is the sure path to chaos, confusion and eventual despotic seizure of power.
1. The Federalist numbers 6-10.
2. To limit the practical choice of presidential electors to one of two leaders of outright political factions guarantees recurring appointment of presidents with little loyalty to the Constitution. See: The Framers’ President.
3. Levin, M. R. (2005). Men in Black – How the Supreme Court is Destroying America. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc. 167-168.