America On A Knife’s Edge

There is no putting it lightly: America is on the brink of Civil War. At this point, it really does not matter who is inaugurated as President on January 20, 2021. After the decision of the Supreme Court yesterday to throw out a Constitutional case, a dispute between the States, the divide between citizens and States is being driven to a point where the United States of America as we know it could come to an end.

For those unaware, earlier this week the State of Texas, under the leadership of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, filed a lawsuit against four States: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. The suit, filed in the Supreme Court, was essentially based in one key area of the Constitution, that which surrounds the responsibilities of the State Legislatures. Constitutionally, the State Legislatures bear the responsibility of appointing electors to attend the Electoral College on December 14. Additionally, if any changes to Election rules and procedures are to be made in a State, they must go through and be approved by the Legislative Chambers in that State. In the cases of the four States Texas filed suit against, electoral changes were made by the Courts and/or the Secretaries of State. They were never approved by the State Legislatures. A similar occurrence took place in the 2000 Election of Bush v Gore, in which Florida came under dispute and was settled in the Supreme Court, who ruled that what had taken place was unconstitutional. The same was applicable to this case, backed by at least 17 other States and the President himself. Yet only two Justices, Justice Thomas Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas, were willing to hear it. The other seven, including Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, declined to even hear the case.

This case had two clear cut outcomes; 1. Upholding the Constitution of the United States of America, or 2. Tossing aside the Constitution and essentially declaring it just a piece of parchment that has no meaning. The Supreme Court chose option two. They chose cowardice. The Founding Fathers would be rolling in their graves.

In a case where there is a dispute between two or more States, the case bypasses all State and Federal Circuit Courts and is filed directly with the Supreme Court. There are generally two outcomes of a dispute between States. The first: The dispute is settled by the Supreme Court. However, in the case that it is not settled by the Supreme Court, the States may take matters into their own hands. Yesterday, the Supreme Court, in their weak decision to recuse themselves of responsibility in what is probably the most historical case that would ever front them, made a critical error. They chose to say the case had no “standing”, a doctrine brought in by the courts within the last century as a means of washing their hands of any cases they do not want to bear responsibility for. It is truly a coward’s way out. In not resolving the dispute themselves, they have practically just told the States to settle it themselves. Essentially, the Supreme Court just sanctioned a Civil War.

But before we get to that, there are still possible avenues. Indeed, according to lawyer Robert Barnes, who has had a multitude of wins in civil, criminal, and Constitutional law, “when law professors gamed out a 2020 election contest, they had this stage as only the half-way there. Other possibilities: VP not certifying contested electors; House and Senate contesting electors; 12th Amendment challenge as to who contests electors, etc.”. He also stated that “after the Supreme Court ruled against Gore, the advice of the chief of his legal team was to take it to Congress. The 12th Amendment does empower Congress to vote if electors are contested.” Barnes knows what he is talking about. But to understand exactly what this means, we must understand how the process works from here.

On the 14th of December, Electors in each State (one for every Federal House and Senate Representative in the State) will vote, the Governors will certify their State Electors’ votes, and they will then transmit the slate of Electors from their State to Congress. That is, unless they are contested. Typically, in the case that things are uncontested, on January 6 the Electors will meet in DC at the US House in a joint session with the Vice President (in this case Mike Pence) presiding. Under the 12th Amendment of the US Constitution “The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such a number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed.” However, in the case that there is, at this point in the process, still unresolved litigation, electoral slate issues, or investigations that cloud the outcome of a State or several States, objections may be raised to the Electors from these States. House Members and Senators can join together to make such objections and force a contingent vote in the House, whereby, under the 12th Amendment, each State carries one vote. The exact phrasing in the 12th Amendment of the Constitution is as follows:

“The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such a number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. ”

This all goes back to what Barnes said. If there are States contested in litigation or whatever else, their Electors may not be certified be that either by the Vice President himself, or by objecting Members of Congress, which would result in an immediate election in the House. It is pertinent to note that Representatives Mo Brooks, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Moore have already indicated that they will object to Electors from contested States. They would need a Senator to join them in doing so to make arguments. In this case, Senator Josh Hawley would be in the best position to present compelling arguments, given his history as a lawyer and former Attorney General, in addition to the time he has served as a member of both the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees. If a House election was to occur, it would likely be a victory for Trump, given Republicans hold the majority of States in the House, and thus Trump would be re-instated as President.

There is still ongoing litigation in multiple States, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada. After the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday not to hear the Texas lawsuit, Trump’s legal team are filing similar lawsuits in each of the four States individually. Sidney Powell is also pursuing cases, with emergency filings made in the Supreme Court for Georgia, Michigan, and Arizona, with Wisconsin to follow. These cases also raise Constitutional issues and are being filed on behalf of the people of America. The fact of the matter is that, even though each State will submit its slate of Electors on Monday, while this litigation continues, these Electors may indeed be rendered moot. Legislatures may also take matters into their own hands and, under the Constitution, choose and send their own Electors. There is a reason the Trump legal team has been fronting hearings with State Legislatures in these swing States.

And there is one more thing that may yet strike from the darkness. On September 12, 2018 President Trump signed a little-known Executive Order (EO 13848). This Executive Order is entitled “Executive Order on Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election”. It covers everything from election interference derived from other nations to US Politicians and the media aiding in such interference. In fact, this Executive Order is so extensive, it is as if Trump knew there would be interference in the 2020 Election. Keep in mind, he had this all drawn up and signed just months after the 2018 mid-term Elections. He was able to view what occurred in the mid-terms and create an Executive Order to catch them out if they tried it again, which inevitably they would. But there is something truly extraordinary about this Executive Order that you would only know if you read it. At the very start of the EO, Trump states the following:

“In recent years, the proliferation of digital devices and internet-based communications has created significant vulnerabilities and magnified the scope and intensity of the threat of foreign interference, as illustrated in the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with this threat.”

Yes, you read that right. The United States of America has been under a State of Emergency since this Executive Order was signed back in September 2018. That State of Emergency was extended, and here’s the kicker: The 2020 Election was held under a State of Emergency. Further, Section 1(a) of the EO states:

“Not later than 45 days after the conclusion of a United States election, the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the heads of any other appropriate executive departments and agencies (agencies), shall conduct an assessment of any information indicating that a foreign government, or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, has acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in that election. The assessment shall identify, to the maximum extent ascertainable, the nature of any foreign interference and any methods employed to execute it, the persons involved, and the foreign government or governments that authorized, directed, sponsored, or supported it. The Director of National Intelligence shall deliver this assessment and appropriate supporting information to the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security.”

This means that the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, must submit a report on all election interference from foreign governments and those who have assisted in it. This report will be delivered to President Trump, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the newly instated Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller (it is no accident his predecessor Mark Esper was fired shortly after the Election), the Attorney General Bill Barr, and the Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf. Of course, there is a 45-day deadline. That deadline is the 18th of December, this Friday. This Executive Order was designed and signed into law for a specific purpose. It stands to reason that this will play a major part, even if it be subtle, over the weeks to come. For those who wish to read the rest of EO 13848, here is a link to the official Government website with the EO written out in full: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-imposing-certain-sanctions-event-foreign-interference-united-states-election/.

As all these things continue forth, millions of Americans have been actively supporting the President. Just today, they turned out in force to the March for Trump and Jericho Marches, and heard from an incredible line up of speakers, including the recently pardoned General Mike Flynn. As Flynn spoke, Marine One flew overhead carrying Trump on his journey to the Army vs Navy game, where he was greeted with a thundering applause and cheers from the military. Meanwhile, a sea of Trump supporters marched around the Supreme Court of the United States in what are called Jericho Marches. The Jericho March originates from Biblical times, in which God gave Joshua an unusual strategy for the battle of Jericho. The Israelites marched around the city of Jericho once every day for six days, soldiers playing their trumpets while priests carried the Ark of the Covenant. On the seventh day, they marched around the walls of the city seven times, and, at Joshua’s order, let out a powerful roar. Then the walls of Jericho fell. In the modern day, a Jericho March is essentially a prayer walk by a group or congregation, the purpose being to pray for something and ask God to intercede. The Jericho Marches in the US persist to break down the walls closing in on democracy.

Americans are getting out there and making their voices heard. They are fighting for the President. But as I said at the outset of this piece, no matter what happens, the civil unrest occurring could easily tip over into a Civil War. And that is where this final interesting development comes in. After SCOTUS denied Texas a hearing, Texas GOP Chairman Allen West released the following statement, suggesting the possibility of secession:  

“The Supreme Court, in tossing aside the Texas lawsuit that was joined by seventeen States and 106 US congressmen, have decreed that a state can take unconstitutional actions and violate its own election law. Resulting in damaging effects on other states that abide by the law, while the guilty state suffers no consequences. This decision establishes a precedent that says states can violate the US constitution and not be held accountable. This decision will have far reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic. Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution. The Texas GOP will always stand for the Constitution and for the rule of law even while others don’t.”

For those unaware, secession is “the action of withdrawing formally from membership of a federation or body, especially a political state.” Essentially, the Texas GOP Chairman is suggesting that States who respect the Constitution should withdraw from the Union and form their own. The last time secession occurred in the United States was in 1860-61, when 11 States withdrew from the Union following the election of Abraham Lincoln. Interestingly, secession preceded the American Civil War.

If this were to occur again, the States would be truly divided. A second Union could form, thus splitting America. Tensions would likely rise and boil over to the point where a new Civil War is sparked. Even if there was not to be a secession, Civil War is still a significant possibility. But there is one thing that could prevent a destructive event from ensuing. Whilst many judicial and investigative bodies may be working against Trump, he has the all-important military on his side. And they might just be the only group he needs.

Make no mistake, this is not over yet. The only date that really matters at this point is January 20th, Inauguration Day. Until then at least, the fight continues.

As the American author Napoleon Hill once said: “Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.”

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