Election Reform


House Resolution to "Reaffirm" State's Right to Administer Elections Is An Embarassment
by Adam de Angeli      Posted May 17, 2021

 
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Michigan House Republicans have introduced a resolution, House Concurrent Resolution 5, "to reaffirm states' rights under the United States Constitution to establish election laws" according to its title.

If only the text of the resolution even lived up to that.

Resolutions like this are typically non-binding declarations that have no legal meaning. This is why they are "resolutions" rather than bills. (The exceptions are Joint Resolutions, which propose amendments to the Michigan Constitution.)

However, a resolution can at least be an expression of the legislature's finding of fact and law, which is something a court might possibly consider.

It would be worthwhile if the text of HCR 5 read something like this:

The Constitution of the United States grants absolutely no authority to the federal government to decide the election policy of the 50 States, and the Tenth Amendment reserves that authority to the States. We conclude HR 1 is totally unconstitutional in its present form and unenforceable in Michigan should it become law.
Something like that.

But no, instead, we get this, the actual text of HCR 5:

Traditionally, and as empowered through the U.S. Constitution, states set and administer their own election policies. While there is some congressional power regarding election laws, state legislatures are the proper bodies and best suited to set laws on election matters.
Oh, Michigan controls its election by "tradition"? What is this unspecified "some" power, do tell?

The federal government has found excuses to infringe on states' rights to regulate their elections, and these should be vigorously challenged and never accepted.

But no, HCR 5 can only stammer that "any election reform efforts should be left to the states."





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