A chilling new book by Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig claims even without illegal interference, Donald Trump’s assault on democracy in 2020 may be just the beginning. His book, “How to Steal a US Election: Perfectly Legal Ways to Overturn Democracy,” explores “perfectly legal loopholes” that could allow a candidate to undermine election results and seize power.
Lessig warns of scenarios where vice presidents manipulate results, state legislatures decertify legitimate votes, and legal challenges create chaos and sow doubt. He argues these scenarios, though legal, would pose a grave threat to democratic principles and could pave the way for an authoritarian takeover.
Key concerns highlighted in the book include:
- Vice presidential power: The Constitution grants significant power to the Vice President in overseeing the electoral vote count. Lessig warns of scenarios where a Vice President loyal to a losing candidate could manipulate or reject votes to overturn the results.
- State legislatures’ role: In some states, legislatures have the power to decertify election results even if no evidence of fraud exists. This power, argues Lessig, could be abused to favor a particular candidate, effectively nullifying the popular vote.
- Legal challenges: A barrage of frivolous lawsuits and legal challenges, even if ultimately unsuccessful, can sow doubt and confusion amongst the public, undermining faith in the election process and potentially creating an opening for manipulation.
The book has sparked heated debate and raised urgent questions about the vulnerability of American democracy. While some dismiss Lessig’s concerns as alarmist, others see them as a sobering call to action.