Townhall | Brian Darling | January 4, 2022
Democrats in Congress are conspiring and plotting to federalize elections to make it easier for them to retain control of the federal government. They are pushing unconstitutional legislation that violates the power of states to run elections. To do this, Democrats need to blow up the filibuster.
This desperate act by Democrats is nothing more than an insurrection against federalism.
Democrats see cratering poll numbers for President Biden and are in panic mode about the fall midterm elections. If Republicans want to protect the integrity of elections, they need to fight the Democratic plan to put unelected federal bureaucrats in charge of state-run elections.
To pass H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” Democrats need to toss out the Senate rule book and exempt the bill from a filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has stated his intent to use the nuclear option to pass this bill. A rule requires a 2/3rds vote of the Senate to end debate forcing consensus on any changes to the rules. Under regular order, the Senate rule XXII requires 16 Senators to file a petition to end debate followed by a vote of three-fifths of all Senators (60 votes). What Sen. Schumer seeks to do is to declare that the bill to federalize elections is exempt from this rule so that Democrats can ram through the bill on a party-line vote.
In a letter to his colleagues, Sen. Schumer invoked January 6th as a pretext for Democratic Senators to trash the rules of the Senate. Schumer’s Dear Colleague letter of January 3, 2022, stated in part, “the Senate was designed to protect the political rights of the minority in the chamber, through the promise of debate and the opportunity to amend.” Schumer then claims that the rights have been “warped and contorted” to obstruct the will of the majority. It is funny that Schumer writes, with no shame, when it is well known that Democrats used the filibuster 328 times during the 2019-20 Congressional term.
If passed, H.R. 1 would thwart the will of state legislatures to control their own elections. The bill has many provisions that micromanage state-run elections, including forcing early voting, automatic voter registration including the same-day, online registration, and absentee voting without having to provide a reason. I remember the good old days when we had one day of voting and nobody complained, yet now if a state does not mandate two weeks of voting, then they are designated as racist and anti-democratic.
Most of the provisions in the bill chip away at the power of states and localities to run their own elections. One of the most offensive provisions, as described by The Heritage Foundation, would “transfer the right to draw congressional districts from state legislatures to ‘independent’ commissions whose members are unaccountable to voters.” If enacted, this would remove the power from citizens of the 50 states to control redistricting decisions and allocate that power to unelected bureaucrats in the federal government.
Another provision that will be the subject of lawsuits on constitutional grounds is one that authorizes the IRS to investigate nonprofits and consider their political and policy positions for tax-exempt status. Do we have any doubt that pro-gun, pro-life and future conservative institutions that mirror the views of conservative Heritage Foundation or libertarian CATO Institute would be under fire? This provision would give the stamp of approval to government bureaucrats to discriminate against views that are disfavored by the regime in power.
The most fascinating aspect of this debate is that Democrats know that their bill is unconstitutional and have added a provision to limit the right to challenge the bill in court. The bill limits lawsuits to the District of Columbia and forces them to consolidate their case with one attorney representing the interests of all the states challenging the law. If Democrats were confident that this bill was constitutional, no provision limiting the right to challenge the law would be necessary. There also is a sneaky provision that establishes a commission that will have the power to subpoena judges when bureaucrats don’t like a judge’s ruling.
Make no mistake that the push for H.R. 1, the so-called “voting rights legislation,” is nothing more than a power grab for Democrats.