Joint Session for Electoral College Certification: Why No Allowance for Objections?

This issue was first brought up to me by Mountain Publius Goat on my recent interview with Mark McGrew with further reporting from RovingPatrolBlog:

US Code Title 3,15

Counting electoral votes in congress

§ 15.   Congress shall be in session on the sixth day of January succeeding every meeting of the electors. The Senate and House of Representatives shall meet in the Hall of the House of Representatives at the hour of 1 o’clock in the afternoon on that day, and the President of the Senate shall be their presiding officer. Two tellers shall be previously appointed on the part of the Senate and two on the part of the House of Representatives, to whom shall be handed, as they are opened by the President of the Senate, all the certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes, which certificates and papers shall be opened, presented, and acted upon in the alphabetical order of the States, beginning with the letter A; and said tellers, having then read the same in the presence and hearing of the two Houses, shall make a list of the votes as they shall appear from the said certificates; and the votes having been ascertained and counted according to the rules in this subchapter provided, the result of the same shall be delivered to the President of the Senate, who shall thereupon announce the state of the vote, which announcement shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons, if any, elected President and Vice President of the United States, and, together with a list of the votes, be entered on the Journals of the two Houses. Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received. When all objections so made to any vote or paper from a State shall have been received and read, the Senate shall thereupon withdraw, and such objections shall be submitted to the Senate for its decision.

No call for objections were asked. Should this mean the voting in of Obama is illegal? The skipping over the asking if any objections has never happen before.

They know. They all know and they are trying their damnedest not to let it out. [emphasis from posting]

I similarly believe the questions at the end of the quotation are legitimate. I had originally counter-pointed Goat on whether or not any objections were taken prior to the Joint Session. However, perhaps the question should be raised at the Judiciary at this point, for it would appear that the Vice President broke the law (unless someone can show where it was legal to have made this change).

A couple of counter-points follow…


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Democrat Proposes Repealing 22nd Amendment on Presidential Term Limit

Just in case you thought the entire eligibility issue was a big deal, now we have Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) proposing House Joint Resolution 5 (Enter “HJ Res 5” at Thomas; GovTrack version):

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

This bill was introduced into the Judiciary Committee on January 6 (first day of the 111th Congress) and has no co-sponsors.

Before anyone starts freaking out, remember that a bill such as this must first make it out of committee, then be passed by two-thirds of the House and Senate, then be passed by three-fourths of the States before actually happening.

Regardless, this simply goes to show that the minority party or individual (the smallest minority there is) should always have their rights respected so as to provide a check against the majority.

A frequent commenter of this site, “Patrick McKinnion,” makes an excellent counter-point to the above:

I remember the GOP suggesting similar things when Reagan was president. And there’s been bills like this on both sides of the House and Senate for decades now.

I’d say the likelihood of it getting the 2/3rds needed AND then State ratification are in the slim, none, and forget it deparment. And even if it happened, I doubt whoever is in the White House at the time would be “Grandfathered” in.

The only amendment to repeal another amendment, the 21st amendment which repealed the 18th amendment, took a year to pass, and that was only after 13 YEARS of increasing unpopularity with the 18th. There’s no signs the American people are that unhappy with the 22nd.

I doubt it will fly.


Candidate Qualification: TN Senator: “Eligibility Issue Investigated and Confirmed” blogger Justin Riggs received the following from Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) office yesterday:

Yesterday, I received a letter from an anonymous source that had a letter from TN Senator Lamar Alexander attached to it. In the letter, it states:

“Thanks for getting in touch with me and letting me know what’s on your mind regarding the allegations about President elect Barack Obama’s citizenship. This issue has been investigated and it has been confirmed that the President elect is in fact a natural born citizen and therefore is eligible for the office of President. I appreciate you contacting me with your concerns, and I hope that you will continue to get in touch with me and let me know what’s on your mind regarding the important issues facing our nation.”



The letter was dated January 5th, on what appeared to be authentic letterhead, and the signature matched the signature posted on the Senator’s website.

I’ll post the letter later tonight, as my tipster wants to remove her personal information before posting it on the web. I’ll also post our response to his office.

Wouldn’t it be nice to find out (1) who did the investigation; (2) what, exactly, did they do to investigate; and (3) how did they go about concluding that said investigation was “enough,” beyond all reasonable doubt, to determine eligibility?

As far as I know, virtually all of the President-Elect’s documentation — from collegiate records to financial information to medical records to, yes, his original birth certificate — is off limits from public scrutiny.

I’ll similarly post more as I receive it.


Berg v. Obama: Second Conference Hearing on Friday

Philip Berg, Plaintiff in Berg v. Obama, will have a second Conference this Friday, January 16, concerning his request to either (1) stay the Electoral College vote or (2) stay the certification of same (original docket; new docket; all in “Supreme Court Info” on the sidebar).

In my opinion, if Mr. Berg is smart, he will appropriately deal with his Third Circuit case (his brief for the case is due by January 20) prior to this Friday. Of course, even that won’t guarantee that the Supremes will react any differently to this question than his original petition for Certiorari, as the lower court is in no way obligated to “finish up business” prior to this Friday.

We also don’t completely know all of the cards in Philip Berg’s hand. Clearly, he has a sealed Berg v. Obama case currently under consideration in the Judiciary, and he’s already promised to file a Petition for Writ of Quo Warranto, should the President-Elect be inaugurated without any orders being handed down.

Even before this week is over, we also already know that next week could entail action from the courts at the State and federal levels as well; I’ll be writing a posting on that later.

In the meantime, be sure to keep yourself up to speed with the current listing of eligibility lawsuits.

Update: Excellent video, “The Embassy,” from


Newsmax: President-Elect’s Intelligence Advisor Involved in Security Breach reported yesterday the following:

Obama’s top terrorism and intelligence adviser, John O. Brennan, heads a firm that was cited in March for breaching sensitive files in the State Department’s passport office, according to a State Department Inspector General’s report released this past July.

The security breach, first reported by the Washington Times and later confirmed by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, involved a contract employee of Brennan’s firm, The Analysis Corp., which has earned millions of dollars providing intelligence-related consulting services to federal agencies and private companies.

During a State Department briefing on March 21, 2008, McCormack confirmed that the contractor had accessed the passport files of presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John McCain, and that the inspector general had launched an investigation.

Sources who tracked the investigation tell Newsmax that the main target of the breach was the Obama passport file, and that the contractor accessed the file in order to “cauterize” the records of potentially embarrassing information.

“They looked at the McCain and Clinton files as well to create confusion,” one knowledgeable source told Newsmax. “But this was basically an attempt to cauterize the Obama file.”

At the time of the breach, Brennan was working as an unpaid adviser to the Obama campaign. …

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