Friday, August 20, 2004

Executive Branch Power to Postpone Elections

1 comment:

Jeffrey Hill said...

Nowhere does this article show anything serious to suggest that the president is proposing a contingency plan for delaying the elections. Nor does the executive branch have power to reset the election. The state department memorandum was a response to an inquiry regarding what authority lay where according to the constitution. That’s wonderful. I’m glad our government still refers to the constitution. As it states, the executive power is limited and contingent on congress.

But that doesn’t deter Ritt Goldstein from misquoting the memo:

“It explicitly states, ‘the executive branch could make decisions that would make it impossible or impractical’ for an election to occur.”

Not so. The memo does not say “impossible,” at all (the actual excerpt):

“It is possible, however, that the Executive Branch could make decisions that would make it difficult or impractical for a particular state or federal election to occur.”

And the Newsweek story made it sound like the administration was going through its nefarious proposal, though in actuality, it was citing the position of one not-so-senior official. What’s wrong with that? Shouldn’t we have officials making recommendations to their superiors? Sure we should. Are the superiors obligated to implement those recommendations? Heavens, no!

As for having a contingency plan to delay the elections: I’m outraged that the government apparently does not already have one. We have contingency plans for all sorts of situations because you never know when you’ll have to bomb Sweden. After 9/11, the threat of an attack that could physically impede the election is, however unlikely, a possibility that warrants, among other things, a contingency plan.