by Michael L. Rosin
Michael L. Rosin is a guest contributor and a constitutional historian. He is the author of amicus briefs in Equal Citizens’ previous Electors’ Freedom Litigation in Colorado and Washington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Donald Trump spews distrust of “mail in” voting, it would serve us well to make sure we understand what federal law says about absentee ballots and the role of the United States Postal Service.
Start with the basics: In the hierarchy of federal law, the Constitution comes first followed by statutes and then agency regulations. …
By Evelyn Li
The United States government is predicated on a system of checks and balances. But one such check appears nowhere in the Constitution and is the biggest hindrance to a productive federal government.
The filibuster is a procedural rule in the Senate that allows senators to delay or prevent voting on a piece of legislation, traditionally through a prolonged speech that extends the debate until the filibustering Senator yields the floor — which never actually happens without the vote of a supermajority of other Senators. …
By Jason Harrow
COVID-19 hit the US big time in mid-March, so we’ve now had about three months to assess how litigants, courts, and election officials are planning to handle upcoming elections. In most of the country, officials have stood up for voting rights, as many states have quickly made voting-by-mail easier and more available. But a few states and some right-wing outside groups have resisted that common-sense change and have insisted that most voting will be done in person, pandemic be damned.
These states — let’s call them the “Intransigents” — are now being forced to defend their refusals in court. Their defenses haven’t gotten much press, but the arguments are disturbing. …