Scholar says GOP motives are political not practical

Written by on January 6, 2021

Scholar says GOP motives are political not practical

By Katie Meyer / WHYY

January 6, 2021

As Americans vote this Election Day, the United States Capitol is seen in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Based on unproven fraud allegations, today dozens of Republicans are expected to contest the Electoral College’s results in key swing states, including Pennsylvania.  

Eight of Pennsylvania’s nine House Republicans have signed a letter saying they object to the commonwealth’s election results. The ninth, Brian Fitzpatrick, didn’t comment.  

Pennsylvania’s Republican US Senator, Pat Toomey, also doesn’t support the effort to overturn the results — saying there’s no evidence of fraud, and it undermines the right to vote.  

Kermit Roosevelt, a constitutional law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, says Republicans’ efforts almost certainly won’t overturn any states. But he worries it’ll have other implications. 

“Yeah I mean I’m afraid it’s going to make the next four years a lot more difficult. To the extent that we’re in an era of like, people living in different realities, this exacerbates that,” Roosevelt says. 

He says Republicans may be contesting results for political, rather than practical reasons. 

“I think it probably is people mostly thinking ahead to 2024 presidential campaigns,” he says. 

In order to dispute a state’s results, one House member and one Senate member has to file an objection. Then the chambers vote.  

But Republicans don’t have enough votes to overturn any state’s results.

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