Today, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, is expected to object to President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory when Congress meets to accept the results of the presidential election.
This stunt, designed to curry favor with President Donald Trump’s voter base, is a bold violation of the oath of office she took just days ago and serves further to erode public trust in the American manner of self-governing.
Boebert isn’t the only Republican expected to challenge the election results. Though the effort can’t change the outcome, it will certainly cause lasting damage by further deepening our nation’s partisan divide.
Like many others, we encouraged the president to avail himself of every lawful means of assuring the 2020 election was free of malfeasance. That has happened.
His objections to vote tallies in battleground states have been repeatedly and forcefully rejected by state and federal courts in nearly 60 separate actions. These judges, many of whom were appointed to the bench by Trump himself, said the challenges lacked evidence or any basis in the law.
The story should have ended there. That’s how our system works. Conspiracy theories are great fun on TV press conferences and fringe internet sites, but courts deal in provable, unrelenting facts.
The judicial branch is the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution; its word is not just the law, it is the last word.
By refusing to recognize the validity of lawful court orders, Boebert makes clear that she does not respect the rule of law. She also shows contempt to the oath she just took to defend the Constitution.
It’s one thing to parrot President Trump’s positions as a candidate. It’s another, as a sitting member of Congress, to embrace allegations of voter fraud that have been expressly renounced by the courts.
“To challenge a state’s certification, given how specific the Constitution is, would be a violation of my oath of office — that is not something I am willing to do and is not something Oklahomans would want me to do,” said Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe.
He’s among Senate Republicans who have already signaled they oppose efforts to overturn the election and will likely join Democrats in affirming Biden’s win. That includes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who warned his GOP conference that today’s maneuver would be a “terrible” vote. Republicans will be forced to choose between fealty to Trump or the Constitution.
Our Constitution is not open to interpretation based on one’s view of it. The court system develops jurisprudence over the course of decades and centuries. We opined last week that Boebert’s desire to wear her sidearm on the House floor has a constitutional foothold.
The gimmick she proposes to pull today has no such footing. Article II, Section 1 could not be clearer. Every state has properly certified its election results, and challenges to those results have been heard by the courts. Full stop.
A few Democratic partisans in 2016 attempted what Boebert is planning today. That circus failed, as will today’s clown show.
We’re dismayed that Boebert — our own voice in Congress — has decided to accessorize her Glock look with a red ball nose and a pair of floppy, oversized shoes.