According to a ruling made in a Pennsylvania federal court in 1995, the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential election could provide legal grounds to remove Donald Trump from office, replacing him with his opponent.
After it was reported the evening of December 9 that, as many suspected, Russians purposely interfered with the U.S. presidential election with intentions of helping Trump secure the presidency, many Americans are furious. In their fury, they’re tirelessly searching for a way that this can be addressed legally.
The first to break the news was The Washington Post, in which it is alleged that Russians tried to assist President-elect Donald Trump in his bid for the presidency. According to the story, a CIA assessment that detailed such was brought before President Obama and several congressional leaders just last week.
In Article II of the United States Constitution. Congress is provided with the power to determine the date that the electoral college members cast their votes. So far, that date is set for Dec. 19. Many citizens have started a movement online, reaching out to members of the Electoral College in an attempt to sway their votes from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton.
Members of the electoral college can legally vote for either candidate. As part of the online movement, a petition has been put up that already has nearly five million signatures, urging electoral college members to vote in favor of Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump currently stands at 306 electoral votes, meaning that it would take 37 total Republican Electoral College members to change their votes by the time they mark their ballots on Dec. 19. If neither candidate has 270 electoral votes, then the decision would be up to the U.S. House of Representatives, which has a Republican majority.
— Morgan (@SouthSeaGold) December 10, 2016
Like in the tweet above, people on social media have started sharing an image with the names and phone numbers belonging to attorney generals in an attempt to get others to reach out and request that electoral college members stay their votes until a formal investigation into Russian involvement in the election is concluded. If the votes have been cast on Dec. 19, it is likely that there won’t be any constitutional grounds to prevent Donald Trump officially being elected President of the United States.
Like a ray of hope, according to The Huffington Post, a 1995 court decision suggests that federal authority to invalidate the outcome of the election is still a possibility.
As the article clipping above shows, in 1995 the Supreme Court let stand the ruling made by a federal judge in Pennsylvania that directly invalidated a state senate election, ordering that the empty chair be filled by the opponent.
In 1993, an election was held in the state of Pennsylvania to fill a vacancy due to an unexpected death. The winner of the Senate seat was elected, but later forced out after a federal judge’s ruling due to fraud.
With the stakes of the 2016 election at an all-time high, we can only hope that there will be some proper form of investigation into the extent of Russia’s involvement in the election and that no elected official, president or otherwise, is allowed to hold an office after a fraudulent win.
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