It has been discussed that one of the alternatives for Trump to keep the presidency is that...

Republican legislators in states like Pennsylvania would invalidate the electoral results and simply award their electoral votes to Trump (source)

I just read on this site that this is not possible:

One question has been: Can a state legislature substitute its judgment for the will of the people by directly appointing their preferred slate of electors after Election Day?

The answer? No. State Legislatures Are Prohibited by Federal Law from Usurping the Will of the Voters After the Election.

According to this recent Q/A it seems that the quote above is correct, state legislatures cannot do that.

However, if that's correct, how is it possible that a senator (Lindsey Graham, who by the way is a lawyer) has discussed this alternative and several media networks (CNN, Vox, MSNBC etc...) commented on it as if it was legal? Shouldn't a senator and several political commentators know better?


1 Answer 1


The narrative which is being pushed by the still incumbent US President and his political supporters is that Biden won only through some forms of election fraud and if only the "legal votes" were counted, then Trump would have won. If that narrative were true, then "the will of the voters" would be for Trump to remain President, and if legislatures would ratifying the election results then that would usurp the "true" will of the voters.

Such a move by a state legislature would be unprecedented in the history of the United States. And what happens with unprecedented and controversial moves by state legislatures? They often go to the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court currently contains 9 judges. In theory, the supreme court justices are supposed to be politically neutral, but in practice they are not. 3 are considered pro-Democrat and 6 are considered pro-Republican. Of those 6 pro-Republican judges, 3 were appointed by Trump personally. The last one (Amy Coney Barret) only weeks ago.

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