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Tag: independent state legislature theory

Trump Republicans Are A Greater Threat To Democracy Than Trump Himself

Three months before the 2022 general election, momentum is tangibly growing for holding Donald Trump and Trump Republicans legally accountable for a range of criminal activities tied to their ultimately violent effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

But Trump’s stepchildren – scores of current candidates who won’t accept the 2020’s election’s outcome and want to control future elections – will be on this fall’s ballots, underscoring that the anti-democratic threats posed by Trump Republicans have evolved and are not over.

“It’s time for every American to pay attention,” said a July 28 update by States United Action, a bipartisan organization opposing election deniers and defending representative government. “These aren’t just fringe candidates. Election lies are showing up in the platforms of politicians with years of government service as well as candidates seeking office for the first time.”

As of July 28, 22 states and the District of Columbia have held their 2022 primaries. More than 60 percent of secretary of state contests, whose responsibilities include overseeing elections, and 40 percent of races for governor and attorney general “currently have an election-denying candidate on the ballot,” States United Action reports. Their tally does not include scores of like-minded candidates seeking state legislative races and even law enforcement posts.

“This is America versus Trumpism,” as one analyst said on a late July briefing that sought to tie the impact of the hearings by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol to the less-widely recognized stakes in 2022’s general election.

“Across the country, politicians who won’t accept the result of the last election are seeking control over future elections,” States United Action said. “Election Deniers are now seeking these jobs and positions across the country in a coordinated attack on the freedom to vote.”

In coming weeks, political media may begin to assess the political paradox of looming threats by GOP authoritarians to expand their gains since 2020 – which include passing 50 state laws that “politicize, criminalize, or interfere with elections” –as against the prospect that Trump and his gang may at last face criminal charges for their failed coup.

In August, numerous states will hold primaries with election deniers seeking the top statewide offices – governor, attorney general and secretary of state. Those primaries include Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri on August 2; Wisconsin on August 9; and Florida on August 23.

Shifting Opinion On Trump Coup

Meanwhile, the House Select Committee’s investigations have shifted public opinion. When the committee's series of hearings began in June, there were still questions – at least among independents and moderate Republicans – about whether Trump and his enablers had committed crimes and whether the public would pay attention. After eight hearings, which will resume in September, it is clear that growing numbers of Americans are watching, there is no doubt Trump led an ultimately violent criminal conspiracy to overturn the presidential election, and the pressing question is whether there will be accountability under state and federal criminal codes.

The momentum for accountability also can be seen in revelations that the Justice Department is questioning a larger circle of Trump allies, including former members of his cabinet. At the same time, missing texts surrounding Trump’s actions on January 6 have grown from the Secret Service guarding Trump to top Department of Homeland Security officials. In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has alerted many Trump aides and allies that they may face prosecution.

Election lawyers tracking these developments say that criminal charges are likely to be lodged first in Georgia – possibly before the general election. The DOJ is expected to act after the election (unlike 2016 when the FBI in late October reopened its inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s emails).

Polls have found that 60 percent of likely 2022 voters see Trump’s failed coup as criminal. Political independents – who vote sometimes for Republicans and sometimes for Democrats – are increasingly frowning upon Trump’s lies and tactics, expect accountability, and say they would not vote for 2020 election-denying candidates seeking office in 2022’s general election.

“Sixty percent of Americans say that they were not patriots and 63 percent say they were not bystanders,” pollster Celinda Lake said ar a late July briefing by Defend Democracy Project, a Washington-based group dedicated to the principle that voters determine election results.

2022’s Election Deniers

However, as the focus expands from holding the coup plotters accountable to countering ongoing power grabs by Trump Republicans, the challenge gets more complex.

In GOP-majority state legislatures, these authoritarians used 2020 stolen election lies and old cliches demonizing Democrats to pass new laws criminalizing small errors in the bureaucratic tasks conducted by election workers and established get-out-the-vote routines by campaign volunteers. The most common focus of the punitive laws is limiting the use of mailed-out ballots and restricting voters’ options to legally return them.

A related threat concerns a case the U.S. Supreme Court will hear this fall. It involves the radical right-wing legal theory that was at the heart of Trump’s failed coup, the so-called independent state legislature doctrine. Its most extreme version claims that the Constitution only empowers state legislatures to set election rules and run elections, overruling state constitutions, state supreme courts, gubernatorial vetoes, election boards, and citizen initiatives. (Trump’s forged Electoral College certificates in seven states sought to delay Congress on January 6 and redirect the certification of 2020’s winner to GOP-majority state legislatures that would have backed Trump.)

These new laws and legal gambits are based on old lies and partisan prejudices. Since the 1980s, Republicans have been claiming that Democrats can only win if they fabricate voters and votes – so-called voter fraud. But Trump’s stolen election lies and failed coup, which can be called election fraud, have been seized upon by GOP opportunists.

Self-appointed election integrity activists have emerged and promoted themselves to Trump’s base and right-wing media as super patriots. These posers have raised millions from Trump voters by hawking conspiracy theories that have been debunked by credible Republicans. But their bogus analysis and lies, amplified by right-wing media, have enraged Trump’s base.

The consequence is that violent threats against election officials have escalated and not abated. This targeting has roiled the previously boring and bureaucratic field of election administration, which typically are county-level operations staffed by local civil servants.

For example, on July 29, a Massachusetts man was arrested for an alleged bomb threat against the Arizona secretary of state’s office. In Wisconsin, a pro-Trump sheriff in suburban Racine County is refusing to investigate pro-Trump activists who forged online ballot requests; they wanted to show the process was dishonest but instead were caught by election officials.

“In many ways, the Republican election officials have it worse than the Democratic election officials,” said David Becker, founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that has organized an election official legal defense network, in a late July media briefing.

“The Republican election officials know the [2020] election was secure. They did a remarkable job. Most, if not all of them, voted for Trump,” he continued. “And now they find themselves under attack and, unlike election officials in maybe deeply blue areas, when they go home at night, their own families, and friends… wonder if they helped steal an election because they have been lied to so much [by Trump and his boosters].”

Frontline Responses

Election officials have responded to this fraught new environment by tightening security and reaching out to local media and community leaders, hoping to inform the public that modern election administration is accurate and replete with checks and balances.

Numerous non-profit organizations have catalogued the danger signs and sought to respond. CEIR, for example, has organized a nationwide legal defense network to assist threatened local officials. Neal Kelley, who managed the nation’s fifth largest election district in Orange County, California, is now working with the Committee for Safe and Secure Elections, which seeks to train local police to protect election officials and voters from illegal threats and intimidation. Grassroots groups like Scrutineers, which educates activists about election administration, recently conducted non-violent conflict resolution training for election observers.

In many respects, defeating Trump Republicans in 2022’s general election is seen by these advocates of fair elections and representative government as the most tangible line of defense before the 2024 presidential election. As the House Select Committee’s disclosures continue and prosecutors move closer to indicting Trump Republicans for their 2020 offenses, the pro-democracy advocates hope Americans will put country ahead of party and vote this fall.

“An informed voter is a powerful voter,” said States United Action. “Election Deniers are on the ballot in many state primaries in August, including all 11 primaries for secretary of state. And pro-democracy candidates of both parties will be on the ballot in the general election this fall. It’s never been more important for our state leaders to believe in free, fair, and secure elections.”

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.

Supreme Court Threatens To Wreak Havoc In Battleground State Elections

During the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, more than 60 of Donald Trump’s lawsuits were readily dismissed by state and federal courts that cited a lack of evidence and rejected a radical argument in some cases – that only state legislatures were authorized by the U.S. Constitution to run elections.

Trump embraced that argument, called the independent state legislature (ISL) theory, as a way to overturn his defeat in key states. It had been gathering dust in right-wing think tanks and academia where it was championed under the banner of "constitutional originalism," whose adherents want government to mimic what the founders established in the 18th century.

As the January 6 hearings have shown, Trump saw the assertion of legislative authority as one way to seize a second term despite his rejection by voters. Republican-majority legislatures, led by his loyalists, theoretically could bypass their state’s popular vote and appoint pro-Trump Electoral College members. Even though courts rejected Trump’s lawsuits, and no legislature followed that script, 84 GOP activists and officials in seven swing states forged documents giving Trump their Electoral College votes.

“There is no legal theory that is more closely connected to Trumpism and the failed January 6 coup,” Marc Elias, a Democratic Party lawyer, wrote in a July 6 blog.

The notion that arch-partisans should subvert elections did not end with Trump’s defeat. Instead of receding into ignominy, his attempt to push state legislators to muscle their partisan outcomes can now be seen as opening a wider window with potentially deep anti-democratic consequences.

Unlike Trump’s bungling lawyers, the activist Supreme Court will hear a case next fall that centers on the independent state legislature theory. The narrow question in Moore v. Harper is whether the North Carolina Supreme Court can overrule its legislature that drew gerrymandered districts. If some version of the ISL theory is validated, the Supreme Court could eventually gut the modern system of checks and balances that govern state elections.

“This would be as deep a dig into American democracy that we’ve seen in at least a century,” said Larry Jacobs, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Policy and Governance. “Just look at the recent period. Both Democratic and Republican states have passed laws to enhance their party’s opportunities in November and have had their supreme courts step in and reject those.”

“And that’s an example of the kind of institutional battle that the American system of separation of powers, both at the national level and the state level, has invited,” he said. “What the North Carolina case foretells, if it’s actually upheld by the Supreme Court, is an end to that at the state level. It would remove the state courts as a check on the rapacious use of partisan power.”

Jacobs and other election scholars emphasize that the acceptance of a case does not mean that the court’s mind is made up – even though three justices have said in other rulings that they support the independent state legislature theory. But rather than reject the case outright, the Supreme Court is lending credence to a power grab that has been, until now, inconceivable in mainstream legal circles.

“The ultimate big problem with ISL theory is that we’ve always run our elections differently,” said Thomas Wolf, deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School. “You really do end up where the legislature is essentially supreme with the exception of some federal constitutional, or some federal legal checks, on their power.”

Runaway Trump Republicans

The 2020 election’s aftermath has shown what Trump Republicans are willing to do – and suggests what the Supreme Court might validate or incite.

The cadre that forged Electoral College documents in swing states was not alone. On January 6, 2021, after a mob delayed Congress’s certification of the Electoral College winner, eight senators and 139 representatives voted to reject Biden’s victory. Back in battleground state capitals, pro-Trump legislators followed up by launching bad-faith investigations to hunt for illegal voting – Trump’s excuse for why he lost; not that he was rejected by GOP moderates.

The post-2020 legislative inquiries found nothing. But the disinformation they sparked on pro-Trump media convinced his base that Joe Biden was not elected legitimately. Legislatures are not courtrooms. The pro-Trump legislators faced no penalty for indulging evidence-free conspiracies apart from not getting re-elected. (As of mid-June 2022, more than 100 election-denying candidates for statewide office or Congress have won their GOP primary.)

The big lie, nonetheless, led to Republican-controlled legislatures passing new laws to complicate voting in Democratic strongholds. Democratic governors in states like Michigan, where Republicans control the legislature, vetoed the new laws. Republican governors in Florida, Georgia and Arizona signed them.

While many of the initial reactions to the Supreme Court’s acceptance of Moore v. Harper have concerned its potential impact in 2024’s presidential election, further reflection by election experts suggests that any embrace of the ISL theory could enable major backsliding on the frontlines of American democracy.

The fallout could include the dismantling of nonpartisan government election administration by replacing best practices – which, during 2020’s pandemic, allowed for more voting options – with brazen partisan schemes.

“There’s the cataclysmic potential impact on the separation of powers in the American federal system,” said Jacobs, who also oversees a program that trains election officials. “There’s also a practical impact of the nonpartisan professional administration of elections, the work that very few Americans know about, but that’s responsible for the fair conduct of our electoral machinery.”

Election Administration Impacts

A few pundits have asked what state legislatures could do if they faced no checks and balances from their state constitution, state supreme court, gubernatorial vetoes, and state agencies. One scenario is legislators could grant themselves the power to certify all winners. But the possible impacts are much wider and more local, as a look at post-2020 litigation, legislation and enacted laws reveals.

“In the run up to the November 2020 presidential election, state courts heard and considered dozens of cases involving the application of state election law,” Elias noted. “As importantly, after the election, Trump and his allies lost 28 lawsuits in state court, nine of which involved the Trump campaign itself. In 2021, at least 39 voting rights and redistricting lawsuits were decided at the state court level.”

The scope of these lawsuits and legislation involves almost every stage in voting and counting ballots. Before 2020’s Election Day, there was litigation about voter registration, voter purges, voter ID laws, limits to voter assistance, absentee ballot requirements, use of drop boxes to return those ballots, absentee ballot return deadlines, timetables for fixing mistakes by voters and more.

In response to Trump’s loss, Republican-led legislatures have imposed new limits on voter assistance, rolled back voting with mailed out ballots, expanded partisan observers and imposed penalties on election officials who may seek to maintain order, and, in Georgia, reconstituted local election boards with GOP appointees.

In other words, partisan legislatures that face no checks and balances could drastically change how their state’s elections are run. That reaction was seen in 2013 in many southern states, after the Supreme Court ended the Justice Department’s federal oversight of new election laws and rules under the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Like today’s abrupt shuttering of abortion providers in red states, that 2013 ruling saw numerous voting restrictions erupt.

A May 2022 report by a trio of pro-democracy groups, A Democracy Crisis in the Making: How State Legislatures are Politicizing, Criminalizing, and Interfering with Election Administration, previews what may come if the ISL theory is validated.

The groups tracked hundreds of bills in 32 states and found five categories of legislative overreach: “Usurping control over election results,” “Requiring partisan or unprofessional ‘audits’ or reviews,” “Seizing power over election responsibilities,” “Creating unworkable burdens in election administration,” and “Imposing disproportionate criminal or other penalties.”

Enacting these measures would upend America’s elections – damaging voters, election officials and the legitimacy of US democracy – it concluded.

“Left unchecked, these legislative proposals threaten to paralyze the smooth functioning of elections,” it said. “Election administrators could be left powerless to stop voter intimidation. Election rules could devolve into a confusing and contradictory tangle, subject to change at the whims of partisan lawmakers. Election results could be endlessly called into question and subjected to never-ending, destructive reviews conducted based on no responsible standard. At the extreme, election results could simply be tossed aside, and the will of the people ignored.”

The key phrase from that assessment was “left unchecked,” which is exactly what the U.S. Supreme Court’s originalists might unleash in Moore v. Harper.

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

When Will Americans Push Back Against Tyranny Of The Minority?

In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Even so, I’m willing to go on record as saying people predicting an impending civil war or the imminent breakup of the United States are quite mistaken.

For all the turmoil and bad feeling abroad in the land, not to mention on the Internet, the things that bind Americans together as a people are far stronger than the things that divide us. Which is the main reason I believe that a partisan Supreme Court’s efforts to impose what amounts to a “tyranny of the minority” upon the nation as a whole are destined to fail.

One way or another, people just aren’t going to have it.

Now my own sense of patriotism may differ from yours. If I never again hear that dreadful, chest-beating Lee Greenwood song, it will be too soon. I’ve come to dislike the unholy racket of July Fourth celebrations almost as much as my poor terrified dogs. (Even Martin, my orange tabby sleeping companion, came running in around midnight, slinking about two inches off the floor.) The infernal noise went on for another hour.

It doesn’t help that here in Arkansas the temperature’s always somewhere between 95 and 100 on Independence Day — the absolute worst time of year.

So, when do I experience patriotic zeal? Well, March Madness, the opening weekend of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, never fails to inspire me with Woody Guthrie-style emotion. All those striving teams from all those far-flung American places. What a wonderful country!

It’s been a while, but I used to drive every summer from Arkansas to an old friend’s ranch outside Livingston, Montana— 26 hours each way, intoxicated by the beauty of the unfolding landscape. Nothing made me happier than stopping for a greasy truck-stop breakfast somewhere in western Nebraska. Have you seen the remote beauty of the Sand Hills? You should.

Having grown up in overcrowded New Jersey, I’ve always loved wide open spaces. Accompanied by a couple of slumbering basset hounds, I’d be singing to myself all the way:

This land is your land, this land is my land.

From California to the New York island.

This land was made for you and me.

One year, I rented a cassette tape of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove from a bookstore in Cody, Wyoming for the drive home. Pulling into Little Rock two days later with a couple of hours remaining, I was tempted to roll on to Memphis just to learn how the story ended.

But here’s the problem: The seven states I drove through--Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana—have a combined 14 U.S. Senators: thirteen conservative Republicans, and Montana Democrat Jon Tester.

Their combined populations add up to roughly 12 million, give or take.

California and New York alone have around 60 million citizens between them, and just four U.S. Senators, all Democrats.

The Founding Fathers couldn’t have anticipated that any more than they could AR-15 assault rifles. There are small states that lean Democratic, yes. But the power imbalance between what H.L. Mencken called “The Cow States” and the nation’s urban population has created sustained partisan gridlock in Washington. Add the undemocratic filibuster, and it becomes increasingly difficult to get anything useful done.

Hence the tyranny of the minority.”

“Our current system,” writes Jamelle Bouie in the New York Times, “favors geography over people and the interests of the minority over those of the majority.” The January 6 insurrection along with “the partisan lawmaking of the Supreme Court have thrown those counter-majoritarian features of the American system into sharp relief.”

By overturning Roe v. Wade, the court has created a crisis of legitimacy, Bouie adds, where “the fundamental rights of hundreds of millions of Americans are functionally overturned by an unelected tribunal whose pivotal members owe their seats to a president who won office through the mechanism of the Electoral College, having lost the majority of voters in both of his election campaigns.”

As I write, several Cow State Republican governors have found themselves unable to answer reporters’ questions about whether a ten-year-old girl in Ohio should be forced to deliver her rapist’s child. Children having children.

The tyranny of the minority, indeed.

Actually, there’s no real constituency anywhere in America for such a grotesque policy. But it’s amazing none of these politicians had thought up a sensible answer. They haven’t had to, partly because the Supreme Court’s Roe ruling was written by partisan hothouse flowers with little experience of the outside world.

So now the Supreme Court has announced its intention to delve into what’s called the “independent state legislature theory,” according to which GOP-dominated legislatures could override their own states’ voters in presidential elections—pretty much what soon-to-be-disbarred Trump lawyer John Eastman tried to pull off in 2020.

One way or another, the American people won’t let that happen.

Court's Right-Wing Radicals Now Pose Lethal Threat To Democratic Elections

The House Select Committee hearings are swaying political independents and centrists to reject the power-grabbing tactics used by Donald Trump and his Republican enablers to overturn the 2020 presidential election, according to several polls and surveys of battleground state voters released on Thursday, June 30.

“Vast majorities of the American people are paying attention, and they are deeply concerned,” said Leslie Dach, co-chair of Defend Democracy Project, an advocacy group dedicated to the principle that voters determine the outcome of elections. “They believe that a crime has been committed. They want accountability in the courts and at the ballot box. And they hold not just President Trump responsible, but they hold his allies and Republicans responsible for what happened.”

More than 80 percent of all voters have heard or seen “a lot” or “some” about the investigation, pollster Celinda Lake said at the Defend Democracy briefing. Among independents, the bloc that votes for Democrats and Republicans, support for the investigation has grown from 55 percent in May to 73 percent in June, which she called “startling.”

“There’s even greater support for the congressional investigation than there was for the second [Trump] impeachment,” Lake said. Among Republicans, 14 percent supported Trump’s impeachment immediately following the insurrection, while 30 percent are now supporting the wider January 6 investigation.

A different survey probing moderate voters’ reactions to 2020’s election denial for Voting Rights Lab, a D.C. nonprofit tracking state trends, found about half of all voters were still susceptible to the ‘Big Lie,’ with 30 percent saying the 2020 election had been stolen, 7 percent saying that there had been “significant fraud, but it had no impact on the results,” and 11 percent who were “not sure.”

Voters in both major parties were very concerned about American democracy, but moderates were most disturbed by the behaviors showcased in the hearings, where politicians manipulated elections for power, including negating the vote.

“Whether they voted for Trump or Biden, the biggest threats to democracy across all voters was, one, self-serving politicians,”said Tresa Undem, a Washington, D.C. based researcher. “And then [came] this ‘us-versus-them’ mentality… And, at the center of that, there’s no common good. There’s no common goal.”

Enter The Supreme Court

But on the same day that new research showed that swing voters are increasingly rejecting the Trump-led tactics to thwart the popular vote, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear a case this fall where radical Republicans will contend that only a state legislature – not a state’s constitution, nor its supreme court, governor, or election officials – can set voting rules and certify victors.

In other words, in much the same way that Trump and his loyalists tried to overturn 2020’s popular votes, a case that could enshrine a similar hyper-partisan power grab has been welcomed by the Supreme Court. If validated by the court, the ruling could lead some Republican-run legislatures to override a Democratic presidential candidate’s victory in 2024, because a state’s legislature, not its voters, would appoint its presidential electors.

“This case sets up what will be one of the most consequential cases of the next term, and, indeed, what may be one of the most significant, if [not] one of the most destructive cases in American democracy that we will have seen, depending on how things turn out,” said Thomas Wolf, deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law ‘s democracy program, at a June 30 briefing that reviewed the case’s complexity and stakes.

“The super-majority of justices on this new Supreme Court have made clear that they are willing to entertain ideas that have not previously been upheld by the highest court in the land,” Wolf said. “This certainly would be one of them.”

The case, from North Carolina, involves redistricting, and which state authority has the final say over redrawing its electoral boundaries. Its legislature segregated voters to preserve its power, which is one way to manipulate voting. The maps created by the GOP-led legislature were rejected by the state’s high court.

The legal theory pushed by radical Republicans is called the “independent state legislature theory (ISL).” It asserts that no other state branch can interfere in how its elections are run. It cites terse sentences in the U.S. Constitution that say state legislatures set the “times, places and manners” of holding federal elections, and, in another section, that legislators appoint presidential electors.

While the North Carolina case involves gerrymandering, the power grab at its core could affect every stage of voting. During Trump’s post-2020 litigation, where his campaign lost more than 60 suits challenging electoral protocols and results, his legal team repeatedly raised this theory. But it has gained momentum, including statements by four of the nine Supreme Court justices in other rulings that said they would welcome reviewing the ISL theory – or a version of it.

Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas supported it, and Brett Kavanaugh said it should be scrutinized before 2024, Princeton University’s Kim Lane Scheppele, who specializes on threats to constitutional governmental, wrote in March. Via email, she said that Chief Justice John Roberts also “has never seen a Republican-leaning voting rights case that he didn’t want to get behind.”

“The Court may well find – as did the Court in Bush v. Gore [in 2000] – that there is no individual right in the Constitution to vote for president or even for electors of the president,” Scheppele said. “As you know, before the Civil War, a number of states used a system in which their state legislatures select the electors. Given the emphasis of the Court on (selective) historical practices [such as its decision banning abortion], they may well find that any system a state legislature creates for selecting electors is fine with them, including cancelling the popular vote altogether – or cancelling it after the fact if the result isn’t ‘clear.’ And in the pure version of the independent state legislature theory, neither governor nor state court can override, limit, or interpret the rules that the legislature passes.”

A 'Nutty' Partisan Fantasy

At the Brennan Center’s briefing, constitutional scholars said that the court would have to construct a convoluted path to validate the theory and gut the historical checks and balances over how elections are run. But after recent rulings banning the right to an abortion, expanding gun rights, empowering prayer in school, and limiting executive branch power to fight climate change, several scholars said the best strategy may be to warn the public about the stakes in the case, its potential for wreaking chaos, and also to ridicule the ISL theory as a partisan fantasy.

“It’s nutty. It’s a deliberate comical misreading of what the text, structure, history, purpose, meaning, and goals of the constitutional provision are,” said Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center.

Meanwhile, several voter surveys conducted since the January 6 hearings began have found that the most powerful voting bloc in battleground states – centrists who vote for Republicans or Democrats – increasing are disgusted by Trump’s attempted coup. One of Trump’s tactics was a first cousin, if you will, of the ISL doctrine, where state GOP leaders rejected their state’s popular vote results. Instead, they sent forged Electoral College documents to Washington.

“What is emerging very, very strongly from the hearings is not just that Trump was responsible, but there was a faction of the Republicans, Trump Republicans, who were responsible as well,” Lake said. “This was about overturning the will of the people, overturning elections, and people take that very, very seriously.”...

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.