Conservative legal scholar Alan Dershowitz has written a bizarre op-ed warning Republicans not to cancel the November elections. The former Harvard professor says doing so could result in a Bernie Sanders presidency.
Dershowitz published the comment piece in The Hill newspaper on Thursday amid some speculation about the 2020 elections. He argues that cancelling the elections would be bad for the GOP and therefore won’t happen.
“What does the Constitution provide in the event that an emergency precludes an election before the end of a president’s term?” he asks.
“It has never happened before, and it probably won’t happen this year,” Dershowitz writes, before diving into the hypothetical.
Dershowitz imagines a scenario where the presidential and congressional elections don’t happen and one third of senate seats go unfilled.
“Unlike when a president is impeached or dies, there is no clear succession plan in place for a situation in which there has been no voting.”
“But there would be no House speaker if there were no election, because there would be no House, all of whose members would be up for election in November,” he writes.
“The terms of all members of the House would end, according to the Constitution, on January 3.”
Dershowitz, who has been a staunch defender of President Donald Trump, goes on to suggest that the remaining two thirds of senators would then be able to choose the president by appointing the president pro tem.
He warns that a Democratic senate majority could choose anyone to fulfill that role – “even Bernie Sanders.”
“This prospect undoubtedly is frightening enough to Republicans to assure that they will do everything in their power not to cancel the 2020 election.”
As experts have already pointed out, there is no provision for cancelling constitutionally mandated federal elections.
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Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media