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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Judson Phillips Doesn't Understand the Constitution (And Neither Does WND)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Judson Philllips' Nov. 19 WorldNetDaily column was dedicated to the idea that President Obama could be kept from returning to office by Republicans boycotting the Electoral College, thus denying the quorum needed to convene:

And the best part – this is totally constitutional.

The 12th Amendment of the Constitution as well as Article II of the Constitution govern the Electoral College.

According to the 12th Amendment, for the Electoral College to be able to select the president, it must have a quorum of two-thirds of the states voting. If enough states refuse to participate, the Electoral College will not have a quorum. If the Electoral College does not have a quorum or otherwise cannot vote or decide, then the responsibility for selecting the president and vice president devolves to the Congress.

But Phillips clearly didn't read his Constitution very well. Here's what the relevant portion of the 12th Amendment says:

The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. 

In other words, it appears that a quorum is demanded only when no candidate has a majority of Electoral College votes and the vote goes to the House of Representatives. That does not apply to Obama, who has a majority of votes.

Phillips, by the way, is head of Tea Party Nation, so you'd think he'd know his Constitution better than that.

Since publication, WND has added an editor's note admitting the error:

Editor’s note, Nov. 20, 2012: Since this column was posted it has been discovered that the premise presented about the Electoral College and the Constitution is in error. According to the 12th Amendment, a two-thirds quorum is required in the House of Representatives, not the Electoral College.

WND didn't explain why no editor at an organization that purports to be Constitution-savvy (witness its longtime birther obsession over the definition of "natural born citizen") made an effort to save both WND and Phillips some embarrassment by catching Phillips' error before it was published.

Just consider this yet another reason why nobody believes WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 AM EST

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