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Message From the Senate

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 6, 2021
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DUNCAN. Madam Speaker, this process we are going through today isn't about personalities. This isn't about Joe Biden or Donald Trump. As hard as some try to paint it that way, let me say that names and personalities don't matter. This is, gravely, about the Constitution of the United States.

Almost 20 years ago, after the attacks on 9/11, Americans were persuaded to give up some of their constitutional liberties. Using the justification of that global crisis, the terrorist attacks on that fateful day, America saw the erosion of their liberties for the safety and security many felt they may receive through the USA PATRIOT Act and other resulting processes too many felt would keep us safe from another attack here on our shore.

This year, using the justification of the global pandemic, COVID-19, we once again saw our Nation's Constitution violated. You see, the Constitution is clear in Article II, Madam Speaker, that the power and duty to set the manner of national elections rests solely with the State legislatures.

That power doesn't rest with us. That power didn't rest in the hands of unelected county election officials, secretaries of state, or a supreme court but, rather, in the hands of the State legislatures, which pass laws setting the manner of elections held in their States.

This year, using the extraordinary circumstance of the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed these duly passed laws circumvented and usurped time and again, not by having the laws changed in the respective State legislative bodies, but those laws arbitrarily and unilaterally changed by county clerks; secretaries of state; and, in this case of Pennsylvania, an elected supreme court, which is supposed to interpret the law, not make law.

When those nonlegislative entities change the laws without getting the general assemblies to change the law, in my opinion, the resulting ballots cast, either by mail or in person, those ballots were illegal under the law.

Illegal ballots should not be counted. Therefore, the resulting electoral votes should be considered invalid.

What bothers me is that so many of you are okay with that, that so many Americans, because their person won, you are okay with the manner in which that victory was gained.

It is politics. Look, I get it. But we didn't swear an oath to play politics. We swore an oath to the United States Constitution. As George Washington said: The Constitution is the guide which I will never abandon.