ACLU Urges Congress to Certify, Uphold the Will of the Voters

January 6, 2021 12:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — While a dozen senators have stated their plans to object when members of Congress meet today to count and confirm the Electoral College votes, the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter urging Congress to oppose the efforts, led by President Trump, to trample the will of the American electorate. The ACLU’s position today is consistent with its position after the 2000 election, when it did not support efforts to block Congress from counting Florida’s Electoral College votes for George W. Bush, despite disagreement with the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore.

According to Sonia Gill, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union:

“Members of Congress who violate their constitutional oath to protect and defend the Constitution by wrongly objecting to state-certified electoral votes will inflict lasting damage to our republic and to our democratic norms of self-governance. This effort is illegitimate and based on false allegations of voter fraud — a trope used throughout our country’s history to target the voting rights and political power of racial minorities. Despite over 60 legal challenges that were filed to subvert the will of the people, the courts, federal and state, have been unanimous: Our legal system cannot be used to steal an election.

“The people have voted — even amidst a pandemic and despite deliberate barriers to the polls. Now, it’s time for members of Congress to do their job and, in accordance with the Constitution, count the votes for president and vice president that have been certified by the states. Voters — not the courts and not Congress — decide elections.”

As the ACLU’s letter to Congress concludes, “The political posturing by members of Congress in rejecting state-certified election results threatens the rule of law and the very foundation of democracy itself. Congressman John Lewis cautioned in his final words to the nation that democracy is not a guarantee. We can lose it. Members of Congress are oath-bound by the Constitution to uphold our system of self-government and reject this extraordinarily dangerous effort to destabilize the United States’ democratic system.”

The letter is available here: https://www.aclu.org/letter/aclu-electoral-college-letter

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