Invoking his 34 years in federal office and the oath he has taken to support and defend the Constitution, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe announced Tuesday that he would not challenge Joe Biden’s clear win of the election for President.
In a blunt break with Oklahoma Senator James Lankford and President Donald Trump, Inhofe said that to do anything else would be a “violation of my oath of office.”
“Constitution is clear”
“Just as the Constitution is clear about what should be Congress’ top priorities, it is also clear that the power to govern our Presidential elections, including certification and recounts, is explicitly delegated to the states in Article II, Section I. Furthermore, any questions about the electoral process or validity of results may only be constitutionally adjudicated in the courts,” Inhofe said in the press release.
“To challenge a state’s certification, given how specific the Constitution is, would be a violation of my oath of office—that is not something I am willing to do and is not something Oklahomans would want me to do,” Inhofe said.
“I hear the frustration”
Inhofe said “I hear the frustration” with the outcome of the election. He said that he was disappointed, too.
“I understand so many have uncertainty and are questioning of the integrity of our elections,” said Inhofe. “We have a lot of work to do to restore all Americans’ confidence that our elections are held freely and fairly, with every legal vote counted—and are starting that work now.”
In contrast, Oklahoma’s other senator, James Lankford, joined a group of ten other senators over the weekend saying that he would vote against the usually pro-forma certification of the electors from several states that Republicans loyal to President Donald Trump are calling “contested states.” Several others have joined that pledge since.
Their ultimatum is that unless an “election commission” is established to audit only certain swing states that Biden won they will vote against certification.
The facts are that no states are “contested.” All 50 states have duly counted their ballots, certified them, selected their electors according to each state’s laws, and reported those electors’ votes to the Congress for certification.
By Tuesday, 90 judges, many of whom are Trump appointees, have rejected attempts by Trump’s legal team to get the courts to intervene including the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is now dominated by conservatives, three of whom have been nominated by Trump.
Wednesday, by the Constitution, Vice President Mike Pence will open each state’s votes, tally, and then announce them. The Constitution does not give him the power to do anything else although Trump has insisted that he can.
Around 140 Republican members of the House of Representatives have said that they will also vote against certifying the Electoral College votes as well. However, with Democrats in the majority in the House, there is no chance the Republicans will have their way.
Some who have made that pledge to oppose Biden’s win were just sworn in after having won their seats under the same voting systems that are being challenged for the vote that went to Biden.
This is the first time in U.S. history that there has been a president and this many members of one party who have attempted to overturn an election.
If successful, it would mean that a new precedent would be set in the Electoral College system where the Congress could simply make another decision other than the one the 50 states had made according to the selections of their voters.
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