Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to speculate how the Supreme Court would rule in the case of Republican Miller-Meeks and Democrat Heart race and Nancy Pelosi’s wish to unseat the Republican winner.
Leahy: Up here with Crom Carmichael the original all-star panelist. Crom, Article 1 Section 5 of the United States Constitution states ‘each House shall be the judge of the elections returns and qualifications of its own members.’ That is the most favored section of the Constitution of Nancy Pelosi right now.
Carmichael: Well, I don’t know if there are Supreme Court decisions on exactly how that section of the Constitution operates. So let me start with that. But what’s going on right now in Iowa’s second district, there is a Republican who’s currently representing the second district. Her name is Mariannette Miller-Meeks. And Rita Hart used to be the Democrat who represented that district. In a very close election, the Republican won. There was a recount.
The Republican won. And the Iowa state election board certified the election five to zero and that board consists of three Republicans and two Democrats. But it was unanimous that the Republican won the election. Rita Heart had an opportunity to make one more challenge at the state level but she did not do that. And so so Miller-Meeks was seated as the representative.
Leahy: Beat her by how many votes?
Carmichael: Well, it started with 47 votes.
Leahy: It looks like it’s six votes when it was certified.
Carmichael: When it was certified it was six.
Leahy: Pretty close.
Carmichael: But then Heart kept coming up with additional balance and finally she lost in her challenges on her additional ballots. And so Miller-Meeks was certified by the election board. Pelosi now wants to go back and do another recount under different rules.
Leahy: Here’s the thing. Here’s where I think Pelosi has a problem. It was certified and she the Republican who won by six votes was sworn in on January third. Now she’s currently serving.
Carmichael: That’s right.
Leahy: How do you do a redo on that? I don’t know that you can.
Carmichael: Here’s the question. Let’s assume for purposes of discussion that Pelosi jams this through and replaces Miller-Meeks with Rita Hart claiming that that part of the Constitution gives the house the authority to do that. Now, here’s my question. Should Miller-Meeks sue?
Leahy: Yes. Absolutely.
Carmichael: And let’s say it goes to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court then has to, once again I’m guessing here that there’s not any constitutional law on this particular, this has happened once before.
Leahy: Not in this particular way.
Carmichael: It was different.
Leahy: They didn’t swear them in. That’s the difference right there.
Carmichael: What I’m saying is this has happened before. In a sense, but I don’t know whether or not that was challenged in court.
Leahy: Let me tell you what I think is going on here. Okay, so the Republicans certified as the winner by six votes. Remember the swearing-in for members of the House was January third. The counting of the Electoral College votes was three days later January six. This is what the Republican who won by six votes said and was certified. I was then sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives on January third.
Interestingly enough during that swearing-in ceremony, there was a vote taken on whether all of the members from every state should be seated. Every Democrat voted that every member should be seated and no one contested. No one stood up on the House floor and contested my being sworn in as a congresswoman from the second congressional district. Now, why did they not stand up and contest it? I can tell you right now why they didn’t.
Leahy: Because they knew three days later the Electoral College counts would be contested. That’s why they didn’t do it at that time. This is the Constitutional flaw. This is why Nancy Pelosi will lose litigation in this case. Because yes, they do have the power to seat members. That is according to the Constitution. Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members. Well, they judged the election. They judged the Returns on January third and they seated her.
Carmichael: All right. So let’s say goes to the Supreme Court. Let’s say it does. We’re all conjecturing here. But if miller-meeks Iis
Leahy: The Republican who’s been seated.
Carmichael: Who’s been seated if she is removed on a party-line vote where Pelosi claims the constitutionally she has the right to do it and Miller-Meeks sues and losses at the Supreme Court.
Leahy: You know what’ll happen?
Leahy: Every time there’s a majority of Democrats in the House virtually every close election they won’t seat the Republican that wins.
Carmichael: What if Republicans win in the midterms?
Leahy: Well, that’s an interesting question. I don’t know.
Carmichael: Yes, and that’s where it gets interesting to me because as I have also said equal treatment under the law, in fact just equal treatment in general not just equal treatment on the law. That’s one principle. But another principle is the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you which means equal treatment in a general way. Then it would be interesting to see if there was any form of retaliation in the name of equal treatment.
Leahy: So the interesting thing is courts say they’re not going to jump in on contested elections, but in Powell versus McCormick in 1969, the court ruled they could rule on the qualifications of members. So that would be a hook that Pelosi would probably use. We’re gonna have to stop it there and come back with that one. Crom, thanks so much for being here that we missed you.
Carmichael: You bet.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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