Q: Will the Supreme Court decide the outcome of the 2020 elections?
ONE: The United States Supreme Court has limited jurisdiction and only accepts a very limited number of cases submitted to it. If there is an authentic federal issue related to the 2020 elections (so the Constitution is implied) the Supreme Court could take up an actual controversy. So far, however, the legal challenges on behalf of the President have been largely unsuccessful. Assuming an election case is properly brought to the Supreme Court, some have concerns that some of the judges will rule in favor of the president because they are more sympathetic to his political views and / or because he has appointed them. However, I have greater faith in the judges’ objectivity. In addition, the Supreme Court would not decide who won the election, it would simply make a decision on a particular case before them. For example, if something illegal was done in a particular state, the court would only make a decision in that regard.
Q: Could different lawmakers appoint their own presidential elections (for the electoral college) to try to give preference to the candidate they prefer?
-LC, Fountain Valley
ONE: Article II of the Constitution gives state legislatures the power to determine how presidential elections are elected. However, every state has long had laws that determine presidential elections based on the state’s popular vote. Most states assign voters on an all or nothing basis. To change things now, a state would have to pass a new law. If that were to happen after this election, the looks alone would be terrible and the legal challenges significant.
Q: What are the general requirements to be able to vote in a US election?
ONE: There are three general basic requirements: age 18 or older on the day of election; You must register to vote (all states except North Dakota). and you must meet the state’s residency requirements. If someone is homeless, he or she may still be able to meet general state residency requirements.
Ron Sokol is a Manhattan Beach attorney with over 35 years of experience. His column, which appears in print on Wednesdays, summarizes the law and should not be construed as legal advice. Email questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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