Dems’ Goal: Throw out state law to steal a House seat
Rita Hart knew she couldn’t win her race in Iowa court, so she appealed to Nancy Pelosi’s House of Representatives. Her lawyers admitted as much when they asked Congress to “exercise its discretion to depart from Iowa law.”
If this argument sounds familiar, it’s because this is the same policy Democrats are advocating for with H.R.1, the Corrupt Politicians Act. Democrats have been very clear that their ultimate goal is to take power away from states and federalize our election system.
NRCC Comment: “Rita Hart’s decision to appeal to Nancy Pelosi in hopes that Democrats would throw Iowa law is deeply corrupt. Iowa voters should be choosing who goes to Washington, not crooked Washington Democrats.” – NRCC Spokesman Mike Berg
In case you missed it…
Democrats Give Their Iowa Game Away
Wall Street Journal
March 23, 2021 – 6:26 PM
Their lawyer says the House should ignore state law to steal a House seat.
Now here’s some lawyering that may turn out to be too clever by half.
Democratic litigator Marc Elias on Monday submitted his latest brief on behalf of defeated congressional candidate Rita Hart. He wants the House of Representatives to overturn the election in Iowa’s 2nd district, which Ms. Hart lost by six votes to GOP Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. But rather than asserting that if state election law is strictly followed his client would win, Mr. Elias tells House Democrats that they may need to bend the law to reach their desired outcome.
His brief responds to questions from the Committee on House Administration. In the first response, on procedures the committee should use in adjudicating the election challenge, Mr. Elias says “the Committee ‘is certainly not bound to’ follow state law.” The quote is from a 1985 case when the House overturned an Indiana election to seat the Democrat.
That sentence wasn’t a slip. Mr. Elias adds that “when voter intent can be determined but a ballot is not, for one reason or another, in strict conformity with state law,” it should be counted. He urges the Committee to “exercise its discretion to depart from Iowa law, and adopt counting rules that ‘disenfranchise the smallest possible number of voters.’”
Mr. Elias is right as a constitutional matter that each house of Congress has sweeping authority to “judge” its Members’ elections. But the explicit suggestion that state law be discarded gives the political game away.
Mr. Elias wants to take a flexible approach to Iowa law in convincing the House to count a handful of ballots that election officials excluded, including because of problems with their seals. Yet the brief also complains that “Iowa law requires the rejection of ballots that contain any identifying marks,” but “only four recount boards are known to have inspected ballots for identifying marks.” He appeals to state law when it’s convenient but rejects it when it’s not.
Rep. Miller-Meeks has argued that Ms. Hart should have litigated ballot disputes in Iowa state court before asking the House to intervene. Mr. Elias tries to answer in this brief, saying that a House contest was “the only proceeding available” that provided the “time, investigatory capabilities, and equitable approach necessary to ensure that all lawful votes were counted.”
“Equitable approach,” sure. Another way of putting it is that an Iowa court would have followed state law, while Mr. Elias hopes Democrats in Congress will ignore it to count the votes they want to count.
Democrats are using every legal trick in an effort to claw back a House seat. But in the process they may finally awaken Republicans from their political slumber to see what is happening in Iowa. This is a power grab, pure and simple, and Republicans should be shouting about it to everyone in Iowa and beyond.