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Old September 4 2013, 04:40 PM   #35
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Location: Washington State
Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

^ According to this ABC news article, "The Constitution leaves the 'times, places and manner' of holding a federal election up to each state, but says that Congress may at any time make or alter such regulations." So Congress may have the power to delay an election, yes, but unless I'm much mistaken, it certainly doesn't have the power to extend a presidential term, or to extend/bypass a term limit. Even if no general presidential elections are held, the Senate would still be obliged to count whatever electoral votes arrived in the mail - remember, the Supreme Court affirmed as recently as 2000 that non-electoral voter US citizens have no Constitutional right to vote for president. So even if only one vote was sent to the Senate, that'd be the guy eligible to show up, take the oath, and become president.

In short, the Founding Fathers, mindful of how the Roman Republic devlolved into monarchy, offered no emergency provision to extend an executive term for fear of it being abused.
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