Who said that everything is over by December 14th?
A few years ago, I got interested in President Rutherford B. Hayes. His presidency came to my attention because the 19th president is a huge hero in Paraguay. Why? He supported Paraguay's territorial claims and saved the country. He got a province, a school, and several streets named after him way south of the border. As my friend from Paraguay said, you'll get a free lunch in Asuncion if your last name is Hayes!
President Hayes was also famous for the 1876 election and the compromise that put him in the White House. Though Samuel J. Tilden won the popular vote, several electoral votes were disputed. A purely partisan vote by an Electoral Commission gave the victory to Hayes. The deal was concluded days before March 4th, the day on which we inaugurated presidents back then.
This is relevant today because too many people want to rush the Biden presidency. In fact, there is no deadline other than January 20th at noon. We have lots of time before a final decision has to be made, as Paul Bedard wrote:
States rushing to brush aside President Trump’s legal challenges to begin picking electors by Monday are being advised to slow down in a new advisory that says the only date the Constitution mentions is Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.
Citing language in the famous Bush vs. Gore Supreme Court decision, the advisory said that while federal law sets two days in December for moving forward with the Electoral College voting, the Constitution doesn’t.
“The Supreme Court has ruled that the law does not actually require states to appoint Electors by that date in order for those Electoral Votes to be counted by Congress when determining the winner of the presidential election,” said a new white paper from the Amistad Project of the nonpartisan Thomas More Society, which is challenging the votes in several states.
That's right. It's January 20th that matters most. Just ask President Hayes!