Newly minted Congresswoman Ashley Hinson announced today that she would uphold the electoral college vote scheduled to occur on January 6th. In the letter, co-signed by eleven other members of congress, Hinson details her position, specifically that not doing so would unconstitutionally insert Congress into the center of the presidential election process, possibly threatening the electoral college.
Members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus have also signed the letter. The letter, posted to her official Facebook page, was sent to both Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House as well as Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
An excerpt of the letter:
The text of the United States Constitution, and the Twelfth Amendment in particular, is clear. With respect to presidential elections, there is no authority for Congress to make value judgments in the abstract regarding any state’s election laws or the manner in which they have been implemented. Nor does Congress have discretion to disqualify electors based on its own finding that fraud occurred in that state’s election. Congress has one job here: to count electoral votes that have in fact been cast by any state, as designated by those authorized to do so under state law.
As of this moment, not a single state has submitted multiple conflicting slates of electoral votes. In other words, every state has sent either (a) Biden electors, or (b) Trump electors. Of the six states as to which questions have been raised, five have legislatures that are controlled by Republicans, and they all have the power to send a new slate of electoral votes to Congress if they deem such action appropriate under state law. Unless that happens between now and January 6, 2021, Congress will have no authority to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
To take action otherwise – that is, to unconstitutionally insert Congress into the center of the presidential election process – would amount to stealing power from the people and the states [emphasis added]. It would, in effect, replace the electoral college with Congress, and in so doing strengthen the efforts of those on the left who are determined to eliminate it or render it irrelevant.
The text of the Constitution is clear. States select electors. Congress does not. Accordingly, our path forward is also clear. We must respect the states’ authority here. Though doing so may frustrate our immediate political objectives, we have sworn an oath to promote the Constitution above our policy goals. We must count the electoral votes submitted by the states [emphasis added].
Hinson is serving her first term in the Us House of Representatives, representing voters in Iowa’s first congressional district.
A full copy of the letter signed by Rep. Hinson is available below.