This Week in Statehouse Motion: Livin’ on a Prayer version


Dangerous Medication: I’m going to interrupt my basic rule about not writing about Nebraska (ostensibly nonpartisan legislature, meh) to say the genius state Sen. Mike Groene (who’s, actually, a Republican although the Cornhusker State doesn’t see match to connect such labels to its lawmakers) “finally got [his] wish” and contracted COVID-19.

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Why would would a 65-year-old man of sound thoughts “want” to get contaminated by the coronavirus?

Nicely, Groene wished “herd immunity”—one thing often attained via widespread vaccinations in opposition to a given illness and unattainable within the U.S. till round 200 million folks have been contaminated (the U.S. is at about 10 million instances at this level) and immunized in opposition to COVID-19 and would bring “untold death and suffering” without a vaccine.

Groene additionally isn’t a lot into mask-wearing, so who is aware of what number of folks he contaminated whereas he had the virus?

Groene reported his signs as “not more than a minor flu” and located a “blessing” in being able to catch up on sleep as he’s recovered.

His colleague Mike Moser in all probability didn’t see the coronavirus as a lot of a blessing when he contracted it again in might. Sen. Moser spent 5 weeks within the hospital. As of late June, he still hadn’t shaken all of the virus’ ill effects.

In North Dakota, a “Trump Republican” who’d ousted an incumbent in a main received election to a state Home seat final week—although he died from COVID-19 in October.

North Dakota occurs to be main the nation in new daily coronavirus cases per capita.

Wyoming state Rep. Roy Edwards, who had been a vocal opponent of coronavirus-related restrictions, died of COVID-19 the day before the election. The Republican had been unopposed and will be replaced by his local GOP committee.

With coronavirus instances skyrocketing throughout the nation and the GOP sustaining its grip on energy in most statehouses final Tuesday, count on to see tons extra shortsighted, life-threatening pushback on cheap pandemic security measures within the weeks to return. 

Wished Lifeless or Alive: In Florida, the place Republicans managed to really enhance their majority within the state Home (78 R/42 D) final week (the Senate held regular at 23 R/17 D), GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing a so-called “anti-mob” proposal that might, amongst different issues, increase the state’s infamous “stand your floor” legislation.

The measure would successfully empower anybody with a gun to open hearth on anybody suspected of “legal mischief” who seems to be inflicting property harm to a enterprise. The measure would additionally give immunity to drivers who declare to have unintentionally hit a protestor with their car and dramatically increase legal penalties for protestors concerned in “disorderly” assemblies.

The proposal would additionally penalize localities that make “disproportionate funding reductions” to their police forces.

Whereas no formal invoice draft has been submitted to both chamber of the legislature, a number of high GOP lawmakers appeared with DeSantis when he launched the proposal this week, suggesting {that a} associated invoice can have the assist of the bulk celebration.

Runaway: So, as I discussed up high, we’ve a president-elect, and it’s Joe Biden.

Besides Trump received’t concede, which wouldn’t matter if Republican lawmakers in key states weren’t feeding his fantasy of a in some way “failed” election.

Take Pennsylvania, floor zero for the theoretical elector-replacement scheme that surfaced again in September.

Whereas Republican management has deserted rhetoric indicating they’d seek to pull extreme shenanigans like concocting an excuse to replace Biden electors with Trump electors, they’re nonetheless very a lot as much as no good.

Even though there’s no evidence of any election fraud or malfeasance or something even remotely untoward, Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers are seeking to push ahead with a “legislative-led audit” earlier than outcomes (learn: electors) are formally licensed.

Pennsylvania’s election results are supposed to be certified on Nov. 23, however Trump’s frivolous lawsuits coupled with Republican lawmakers’ obvious want to fake one thing concerning the election went awry appears prone to push that date again.

The legislative session ends on Nov. 30, which, even with Thanksgiving plunked into the center of it, provides Republicans an terrible lot of time to make some serious messes with this bogus “audit.”

Ultimately, although, Biden’s electors might be licensed and can forged Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.

The lasting harm from that is the doubt the GOP needs to forged on the election course of itself.

The baseless allegations Trump and his GOP enablers are throwing round regarding supposed election misconduct will function fodder for a slew of voting restriction payments you possibly can wager your ass are coming down the pike subsequent yr.

In Pennsylvania, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf can veto them.

In different states—assume Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Ohio, Iowa, only for starters—they’re going to sail via.

Wisconsin’s GOP lawmakers are utilizing the identical playbook Pennsylvania Republicans are apparently using.

Final Friday, Republican Meeting Speaker Robin Vos, regardless of zero proof of malfeasance, called for an investigation of the state’s election.

Even though Wisconsin’s legislature isn’t presently in session, the Meeting Committee on Campaigns and Elections will meet and—utilizing an influence that hasn’t been exercised right here in some 50 years—subpoena witnesses.

However at the same time as Speaker Vos claimed this week that this investigation is unlikely to alter the results of the election, one among his Republican colleagues explicitly floated the possibility of utilizing the end result of this investigation to switch Biden electors with Trump electors or direct electors to forged their ballots for Trump as an alternative.

That is unlawful and unconstitutional and all method of unsuitable, however the truth that a duly elected member of the state legislature is expressly stating such issues is authentic trigger for alarm.

Not essentially within the consequence of this election—Biden’s obtained this.

However plenty of legal guidelines can get handed in 4 years.

Together with legal guidelines that enable the legislature to, say, choose presidential electors.

Locations like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan have Democratic governors now, positive.

However by the point the following presidential election rolls round? 

And what about these GOP-controlled states that Biden received—Georgia and Arizona, particularly?

What’s to cease these legislatures from giving themselves some type of management or veto energy over the state’s electors?

Bear in mind, Article II of the U.S. Constitution says that the “Legislature … might direct” the appointment of presidential electors.

And the pre-election SCOTUS resolution in Democratic Nationwide Committee v. Wisconsin State Legislature particularly indicated a fresh level of deference to state’s legislatures when it comes to exercising power over elections.

So yeah, the horror of the Trump presidency could also be nearing its finish.

However an entire host of contemporary election horrors could also be scorching on its heels.