No matter what you think about Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley’s decision to object to certifying the electoral vote in Joe Biden’s favor, it’s entirely legal.
After the 1876 election between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes — in which a debate over electors led to an ad hoc 15-member council that decided the race for Hayes — Congress eventually passed the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which codified how the electoral vote was certified and how objections could be lodged.
“Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received,” the law states. Both houses then withdraw to debate the issue and vote on it.
Yes, a senator deciding to join House members in contesting the results of an election is unusual. Yes, the move is quite likely to fail, considering Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rallied Republicans against Hawley’s move in the GOP-controlled upper house, and the Democrats control the House of Representatives, where the issue would likely be a nonstarter.
However, McConnell shouldn’t be working with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to silence Hawley and the House Republicans joining him in the challenge. And that’s what incoming congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is alleging.