Local law professors react to Trump's suggestion of delaying November election

The idea that the President might like to delay the election is to some in the legal community just an empty idea.  Using concerns like "the pandemic" and "mail-in voter fraud" the President has asked if moving the November election might be a good idea. Whether it is or not, it's not that easy. It's not like a state moving a primary or just switching tax day from April 15th to July 15th.

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Law Professors Jessica Levinson from Loyola Law School and Fernando Guerra with Loyola Marymount University share similar opinions about this notion of delaying election day. Says Guerra, "From a political perspective he is further delegitimizing the whole political process and throwing doubt and chaos into the election which works to his favor."

Fernando Guerra with Loyola Marymount University

Levinson says, "It makes us confused and maybe doubt the election processes. It makes us think more about the election and things about something other than what the president wants us to ignore: the economy, the coronavirus. And really it's so effective, not just in deception but allowing him to suppress the vote and allowing him to say you can’t trust the election result."

Jessica Levinson from Loyola Law School

Levinson and Guerra think the President’s talk about things like "mail-in ballot fraud" and delaying election day is just political campaign posturing. Levinson says that if he were to lose this election that gives him a chance to say 'I told you the election was rigged.' Both professors say the United States Constitution is abundantly clear on issues related to presidential terms.

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Levinson says, "The President alone can not wave a magic wand and change the date of the election. Congress has some discretion to change the date of the election but not by that much. According to the constitution, the president’s term is done on inauguration day."

Guerra adds that Inauguration Day can not be moved.

Also, on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the idea in an interview with Kentucky TV station WNKY saying "Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions, and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we'll find a way to do that again this November 3rd."

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