You are probably thinking, “Obama has been reelected. How can he be denied a second term?” That is because Barack Obama has not officially been reelected. The electors of the Electoral College must still meet in December to cast their votes. While that seems like a minor detail as the electors have never defected en masse to another candidate, those who hate Obama have devised a plan to save the republic.
Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, has a plan to deny Obama his reelection in the Electoral College. Straight from the opinion pages of the conspiracy-driven WND:
The 12th Amendment of the Constitution as well as Article II of the Constitution govern the Electoral College.
According to the 12th Amendment, for the Electoral College to be able to select the president, it must have a quorum of two-thirds of the states voting. If enough states refuse to participate, the Electoral College will not have a quorum. If the Electoral College does not have a quorum or otherwise cannot vote or decide, then the responsibility for selecting the president and vice president devolves to the Congress.
The House of Representatives selects the president and the Senate selects the vice president.
Since the Republicans hold a majority in the House, presumably they would vote for Mitt Romney, and the Democrats in the Senate would vote for Joe Biden for vice president.
Phillips calls this bats-in-the-belfry idea “totally constitutional.”
Let’s take a look at this. First, Phillips and others in the Tea Party often claim that they are trying to save the Constitution from its demise at the hand of socialists, liberals, moderates and even Republicans who have not drank their psychosis-induced tea. I’m assuming Phillips has read the Constitution, particularly the parts that he refers too, such as the Twelfth Amendment. Too bad he doesn’t understand it.
Here is what the Twelfth Amendment states:
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.
The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.
The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the 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. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.
The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
The highlighted section states that only a majority of the Electoral College is necessary. There is no need for a quorum because the states cast their electoral votes in their own state not Washington, D.C. The votes are counted there, but the only quorum needed is a majority (218) of the members of the House of Representatives. The two-thirds of the states quorum is when no candidate receives 270 electoral votes and the House of Representatives must decide the next president.
Phillips can embrace his nutty interpretation of the Constitution all he wants. However, unless a person is consumed by a deranged anti-Obama madness that precludes an ability to comprehend written English, no one is going to read the Twelfth Amendment the way Phillips does.
Earlier this year, when it was brought to Phillips attention that members of the Tea Party lacked a grasp of the Constitution on par with most many Americans, Phillips responded in this article from the Washington Times:
“I would love to see people with a stronger knowledge,” he said. “But I also understand what the reality of life is. If you’re worried about your job, if you’re worried about losing your home, things like that, honestly studying the Constitution is not going to be your top priority.”
He also said civics education has deteriorated, adding that he learned about the Constitution in ninth grade, but his daughter, who just completed that grade, did not.
Ninth grade civics course or not, I’m betting that Phillips’ daughter has a better handle on the Constitution than he does. Phillips has had a lot things to worry about with the reelection of Obama so “studying the Constitution” probably hasn’t been his top priority. It does sound like its time for him to take a nice long vacation somewhere so he can shake some of that stress. He needs to bring a copy of the Constitution too so that he can brush up on it before making a public fool of himself again.