Expert Pitch
University of Redlands

The President cannot undo or circumvent the Constitution or federal law, which is firm on the date of the presidential election, says U of R political scientist Renee Van Vechten.

29-Apr-2020 5:05 PM EDT, by University of Redlands

Renee Van Vechten, Ph.D. is a political scientist and professor at the University of Redlands whose research focuses on elections and California politics. 

She can speak on the topic of the possibility that President Donald Trump could attempt to delay November's presidential election, as suggested by Joe Biden to the Washington Post.

Van Vechten says, "The President cannot undo or circumvent the Constitution or federal law, which is firm on the date of the presidential election. 

"States are in charge of running elections, and no president or administration can interfere with that. Recall the Bush-Gore debacle of 2000: the states were in charge of counting the votes, not the federal government. Feds can weigh in on rules if they appear to conflict with the Constitution, for example, but they can't rewrite the law or suspend the law.

"To change the law would require both parties to agree to change it (Democrats would filibuster in the Senate). Moreover, it would have to be consistent with selecting a college of electors that, by Constitutional mandate, must meet (in their respective states) on the first Monday in December. States are in charge of selecting those persons, and throwing that into disarray would be disastrous."


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