As indicated by commentary in the news, a considerable amount of people seem concerned about who wins the U.S. Presidential election. For this reason we have for example articles like this Op-Ed in LA Times (by James Kirchick, a fellow with the Foreign Policy Initiative) saying that the election of some individual as the next President could even result in a coup in the U.S.
The article describes a situation such as follows:
Try to imagine, then, a situation in which Trump commanded our military to do something stupid, illegal or irrational. Something so dangerous that it put the lives of Americans and the security of the country at stake. (Trump’s former rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Marco Rubio, said the United States could not trust “the nuclear codes” to an “erratic individual.”) Faced with opposition from his military brass, Trump would perhaps reconsider and back down. But what if he didn’t? Blimpish swagger might fly within the patriarchal confines of a family business...or a dictatorship. It does not work, however, in a liberal democracy.
In that case, our military men and women, who swear to uphold the Constitution and a civilian chain of command, would be forced to choose between obeying the law and serving the wishes of someone who has explicitly expressed his utter lack of respect for it.
So now to a hypothetical situation, in which:
- A person has won the election as far as both the popular vote and the majority of the votes from the Electoral College are concerned.
- The current administration has determined that, for the sake of [some reason(s)], that persons presidency needs to be blocked.
Some time ago, statements were made by Rush Limbaugh about the current president somehow extending his own Presidency past 2016. In a discussion with Rush Limbaugh, Ben Carson stated that the 22nd amendment makes that impossible.
But if we look at the wording of the 22nd amendment we can see that it says that...
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice
...and this refers to not being elected to office, i.e. a reference to the individual being elected through the popular and electoral vote, for a third time. This amendment also does not say anything about the length of the terms a President can be in office.
Thus it seems that the 22nd amendment alone would not be sufficient to block the President from e.g. simply continuing his presidency (and bypassing the election process altogether).
The President would still need some authority to extend his term in office, however.
According to some information on the web (esp. at many sites devoted to conspiracy theories), the President could do this with the help of Executive Order 12919. This Executive Order is often described as allowing an incumbent President to overtake control of all the resources and bypass Congress through a declaration of martial law. Supposedly it could be used by the President to stay in power permanently.
However the information about Executive Order 12919 at UNT Digital Library states that:
The scope of Executive Order 12919 is sometimes misunderstood. For example, congressional offices sometimes receive correspondence expressing concerns that Executive Order 12919 reflects an attempt by the President to assume powers not conferred on him under the Constitution and to consolidate all the powers of the federal government under the Executive Branch and also that the Order somehow allows the President to declare martial law. Those concerns are unwarranted. As its caption (i.e., National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness) itself implies, Executive Order 12919 relates exclusively to the preparedness of U.S. defense-related industries in times of war or other national emergencies. It has nothing whatever to do with declarations of martial law. It has no effect at all on the continued powers of Congress and the federal courts during periods of war or other national emergencies.
Other similar scenarios found online would involve the Insurrection Act of 1807 (10 U.S.C. 331) or the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (18 U.S.C. 1385). However I did not find anything in these that would allow the President to extend their own time in office.
But perhaps there are some alternatives that do not involve the President to extend his own Presidency(?)
The question is:
Would an incumbent President have any legal means or other authority to block someone from being president if the latter wins the majority of votes from both the voting public and the Electoral College?