Liz Cheney and Zoe Lofgren want to repair the Electoral Count Act of 1887. They say their effort will be based on four principles; I disapprove of every one.
The vice president (who acts as presiding officer for a joint session of Congress in a presidential election) has no authority or discretion to reject official state electoral slates, to delay the count in any material way, or to issue procedural rulings that have such an effect.
I see no reason to limit the authority or discretion of the presiding officer. Authority and discretion are inherent attributes of the office. The gravity of their nature is exactly the reason that we assign a person and not a machine to perform them.
[I]f members of Congress have any right to object to electoral slates, the grounds for such objections should be narrow.
This principle conflicts with the more important principle that no congress can bind the actions of a future congress. There is no telling what the future holds; we should keep our options open.
[G]overnors must transmit lawful election results to Congress; if they fail to fulfill that duty, or another official prevents the lawful results from being transmitted, candidates for the presidency should be able to sue in federal court to ensure that Congress receives the state’s lawful certificate.
The courts are not the right place to determine election results because valid court processes take too long.
[F]ederal law must make clear that the rules governing an election can’t change after the election has occurred.
This sounds like a good thing, but I question whether new federal law is the best way to achieve the desired result. The citizens in the states are the parties with the Constitutional standing and the greatest interest to address the rules governing an election. We should leave this matter to them.
Overall, I disapprove of the notion that we can produce a more perfect union by continually passing more nearly perfect laws. The greater wisdom is to rely on the good nature of human beings in elected office to do right things. There is remedy enough should they fail.