By Larry Schweikart
Rand Paul is noted among conservatives as one of the more Constitutionally-oriented voices in the Senate. He has consistently been a state’s rights advocate. Last night, in a letter and Twitter thread, Paul offered a spirited defense of his vote to accept the electors for Joe Biden sent by Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The vote, and subsequent certification, of every one of these states, has been challenged (to say the least) as fraudulent at best, totally illegitimate at worst. Paul’s acceptance of what appears to be fraudulently-obtained electors from a Constitutional perspective appears to be worth analysis.
This is the speech I’ll be giving today from an undisclosed location.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 6, 2021
Paul states that “Voting to overturn state-certified elections would be the opposite of what States’ right Republicans have always advocated for.” Here, he is probably correct. It would involve Congress substituting its will for state legislatures, which are strongly empowered in the Constitution. “Our founders never intended that Congress have the power to overturn state-certified elections.” He then argued that his “oath to the Constitution doesn’t allow me to disobey the law.”
But what does the Constitution say about extenuating circumstances? Does it allow the nation to vote itself into slavery, or to commit national suicide by electing a Hitler or Chavez? For the most part, the phrase in the Declaration of Independence, that “whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles,