HR 1 / S 1:/S.2093, For the People Act, the Freedom to Vote Act (S.2747), the Freedom to Vote Act (S.2747) (see 2022 Politics - Legislation))

Democrats’ big voting bill is constitutional vandalism

by George Will,
from The Washington Post,

During the Nixon administration’s Watergate unraveling, Henry Kissinger’s mordant jest was, “The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.” But not long, say today’s congressional Democrats. Their “For the People Act” (FTP) is 800-plus pages of provisions convenient for them and their party, some constitutionally dubious, others patently unconstitutional.

FTP would dictate sweeping changes to all 50 states’ election laws, contravening the Constitution’s stipulation that the “times, places and manner” of congressional elections are to be determined by state legislatures. Granted, the Constitution says Congress may “alter” such rules, but dictating, for example, how congressional districts are drawn does not pertain to the “manner” of elections. FTP reflects the perennial progressive desire to reduce the states to appendages of the federal government.

FTP sweeps beyond elections by expanding regulation of “electioneering communication” ... Unsatisfied with their advantages in the mainstream media, Democrats aim to impede alternative forms of advocacy, especially by requiring disclosure of even small-dollar donors to organizations involved only in issue advocacy, not elections. This is sinister, ... (In 2020, outside groups supporting Joe Biden raised anonymous donations — what Democrats tendentiously call “dark money” — that were six times the amount raised by allies of Donald Trump.)

FTP would add a new qualification for the presidential office.

FTP would compel states to count mail ballots received 10 days after the election, on the infantilizing assumption that voters cannot be expected to meet an Election Day deadline. Also, FTP would give voters 10 additional days to correct mistakes on mailed ballots, further prolonging possible uncertainty about elections outcomes. Nationally, 73 percent of 2020 voters cast their ballots before Election Day. Almost 44 percent of Florida ballots were cast by mail, yet the state tabulation was completed on election night, which should be a national norm.

Although 43 states and the District of Columbia allow early voting for between four and 45 days, Democrats propose to give federal government employees, a significant component of their party’s base, paid Election Days off at an estimated cost of $800 million every two years.

FTP reflects an appetite for constitutional vandalism that was displayed seven years ago when 54 members of the Democratic Senate caucus voted to amend the First Amendment to empower Congress to regulate the quantity, content and timing of campaign speech. They thereby implicitly acknowledged that the amendment (“Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech”) is, by its text, and Supreme Court rulings, incompatible with their desire to strictly control campaign spending, all of which directly or indirectly funds political advocacy. Unable to alter the Constitution, Democrats now propose, with FTP, to ignore it.

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