You would think it would be a no-brainer. The U.S. Constitution says that federal elections shall be regulated by state legislatures. Montana’s Legislature has said that federal elections shall not be determined by mail ballot. End of story.
Any judge looking at the case would have to overturn the decision by Gov. Steve Bullock to unilaterally order the state’s counties to allow mail ballots in the upcoming presidential election.
But that’s not the way it has worked so far. Activist judges don’t care what the Constitution says, and they don’t care what the law says. Activist judges are outcome oriented. They start with the result they prefer and then juggle the facts and the law to get that outcome.
U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen ruled that Bullock can do whatever he wants as long as he declared an emergency first. And instead of sticking to the Constitution, he ruled based on his interpretation of the outcome that the plaintiffs feared if mail ballots were allowed.
“This case requires the Court to separate fact from fiction,” Christensen wrote. “… Central to some of the (Trump campaign’s) claims is the contention that the upcoming election, both nationally and in Montana, will fall prey to widespread voter fraud. The evidence suggests, however, that this allegation, specifically in Montana, is a fiction.”
Frankly, this kind of mail balloting has never taken place in a statewide basis before this year’s primary election in June, so it is not surprising fraud has not been found previously, but that is irrelevant. Do we only follow the law because of a specific impact the law has, or do we follow the law because it is the law?
Gov. Bullock had no authority to change the voting procedures in a federal election. That is the issue, and it should be obvious that Christensen’s ruling should be overturned.
Alas, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to issue a stay of Christensen’s order, so the ballots are scheduled to be mailed out on Friday, October 9. That’s why the case has been appealed directly to the Supreme Court as a test case to see whether states must follow the U.S. Constitution or not. The case is being pursued by the True the Vote organization, which issued the following statement:
“True the Vote this week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider its lawsuit filed on September 9, 2020 against Montana Governor Steve Bullock and order that mail ballots not be sent out on October 9 as currently planned. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit – comprised of Montana voters – cite that Montana already has no-excuse absentee ballots and that the Governor does not have the legal authority to overrule election law established by the state legislature.”
“The progressive Left is spearheading a nationwide effort to overturn state election laws that prevent fraud and abuse and to manipulate election procedures that they think favor their election,” said Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of True the Vote.
I’m not optimistic the Supreme Court will get involved, which is a sad statement considering the Constitution is being ignored by the lower courts. But if the Court does accept the case on an emergency basis, then there is still a chance to stymie Democrat efforts to rig the election in such a way that tampering can more easily occur.
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