Op-Ed: The Basis for Initiation of a Forensic Investigation of the 2020 General Election and the 2021 Primary Election

It is not a widely recognized fact; however, every major sports franchise operation in the United States has mimicked the federal republican form of government adopted by the United States.

Something every sports buff simply takes for granted is the fact that umpires/referees cannot make new rules on the field of play. It is likewise taken for granted that the players and coaches do not have that authority either.

The owners of the franchises in the various leagues appoint individuals to be part of a Rules Committee. That Rules Committee creates and/or modifies the rules of the game prior to each season. They may also choose not to change any of the rules for the upcoming season. In the political realm, You, The People, are the franchise owners and the Legislature is your Rules Committee.

The chaos and anger that would erupt on the field of play, in the stands and in the owner’s boxes would be understandable if the umpires/referees and certain coaches decided to start making the rules as they went. That is exactly what happened leading up to and during the 2020 election.  All of that chaos and anger rests at the feet of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Secretary of State and those who complied with their edicts.

On Sept. 17, 2020, the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the umpires in state government, unilaterally extended the deadline for mail-in ballots to be received up to three days after the election. They mandated that ballots mailed without a postmark would be presumed to be received and allowed the use of drop boxes for collection of votes. On Oct. 23, 2020, upon a petition from the secretary of the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made another edict that those counting mail-in ballots need not authenticate signatures for mailed ballots, thus treating in-person and mail in voters in an dissimilar fashion and eliminating a critical safeguard against potential election crime.

Title 25, Pa. Stat. § 3031.13 (a) clearly puts a stop to the acceptance of ballots “As soon as the polls have been closed and the last elector has voted in districts…” and absolutely does not permit the acceptance and counting of ballots which have come in after the closing of the polls. 

The Pa Supreme Court edict (it cannot be called a law) presumed to add something new to the law which the Legislature and the Governor, acting in accordance with the Constitution, did not put in the law. Yet the Secretary of State and county election officials around the Commonwealth wrongly acted as though the edict was law.

I’ve confronted Legal Beagles from the Democrat Senate Caucus and others who’ve made hundreds of excuses why the edicts should have been followed; but none, absolutely none, have answered the first question which must be answered in the affirmative prior to every governmental action: did the governing body (in this case the Supreme Court) have the authority to perform the action?

Since 1791, no change to the Pennsylvania Constitution has occurred without the consent of the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Never, since 1791, have the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted authority to the Supreme Court to create law.

Since Independence Day in 1776, the sovereignty formerly vested in the British Crown and Parliament fell to the American People. They chose, in Ben Franklin’s words, “a republic” and set, through the constitutions of the various states and the federal government, the means by which The People would delegate some of their sovereignty to a government to manage a civil society.

The constitutions are very basic in their application. The People have traditionally learned in junior high civics classes or even earlier (watch School House Rocks) how laws are created. So, when the umpires/referees changed the rules of the game just before game time, many of us began to take action. When the coaches (Department of State and local election officials) went along with the changes against the wishes of the rules committee (Legislature) and owners (The People) during the game/election it is no wonder there has been chaos on the political field of play over the past several months.

The disparate application between the actual law and the edicts has created turmoil, turmoil which lies squarely at the feet of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Governor Tom Wolf, his former and current Secretaries of State and various third party actors who were party to the actions.

We, The Rules Committee in this political arena, are about to perform the duties required of us by The People through the Pennsylvania Constitution. We have both the Constitutional duty and the authority to investigate the actions of all parties in the debacle of November 2020 and to determine the extent to which it spilled over into the May 2021 Primary election in order to create legislation to fix those issues. We intend to fulfill those sworn responsibilities to The People of Pennsylvania.

Our investigation, while it is ongoing, will be conducted as any investigation should be: in a confidential manner. That said, it will also be performed in a manner which shall provide what will become a full public record once the investigation is complete. In this way, anyone who desires to have access to the evidence in the investigation shall have access to it in order that they may conduct their own assessment of such evidence.

I leave you with this: the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was the lone dissenting Justice in Morrison v. Olson. His take on the case has now been recognized as the correct one even by those Justices with whom he dissented. One quote from that dissent has stuck with me for years and relates in this case equally well: 

“It is the proud boast of our democracy that we have “a government of laws and not of men.”

Many Americans are familiar with that phrase; not many know its derivation. It comes from Part the First, Article XXX, of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, which reads in full as follows:

“In the government of this Commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them: The executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: The judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.”

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has exercised the legislative powers relative to elections and the Executive has colluded to do the same. Because neither can point to anywhere in the Constitution of the Commonwealth where You, The People, have granted them the authority to write law, there can be no question as to the violation of the Constitution.

The Legislature, and You, The People, have a mess to clean up. 

I intend to be up to the task, as do many of my Senate colleagues. The People have a responsibility in this republic to hold Justices, Executive Branch and Legislative Branch officials accountable along with any elected or appointed official who has a role in the electoral process.

This is a unique moment in the history of the Commonwealth. This investigation is paramount to ensuring the integrity of the electoral process going forward. I pray for our republic and for the blessing of The Almighty God we recognize in the Pennsylvania Constitution in this endeavor.

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