On Thursday, anti-Trumper Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) introduced two constitutional amendments to eliminate the Electoral College and prevent presidents from pardoning themselves or their family members.
Cohen introduced the bills the same night Democrats took control of the 116th Congress and Nancy Pelosi retook her position as speaker.
Trump secured the 2016 election by winning the Electoral College with 304 votes to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 232. But Clinton beat Trump by nearly 3 million in the popular vote. Especially since then, many Democrats have vociferously opposed the system.
Cohen, in particular, called the Electoral College “distorting” and “outdated” in a statement regarding his proposals.
“Americans expect and deserve the winner of the popular vote to win office,” he said. “More than a century ago, we amended our Constitution to provide for the direct election of U.S. Senators. It is past time to directly elect our President and Vice President.”
Additionally, Cohen moved to prohibit Trump and any future president from issuing pardons to “themselves, their families, their administration or campaign staff.” Cohen previously suggested Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, could be indicted as special counsel Robert Mueller continues his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion with Trump’s campaign.
Amid the investigation, the issue over whether Trump could – or even would – pardon himself has arisen.
Trump said in a June 2018 tweet that he has “the absolute right to pardon” himself, but legal scholars have remained undecided, even calling the debate a “favorite parlor game” among experts.
Voting access and ethics
Among one of the first bills Democrats will consider is an effort to make it easier for people to vote while tightening election security. The move would also require presidents to disclose their tax returns.
The bill would create automatic national voter registration while expanding access to early and online registration. Additionally, it would beef up federal support for state voter systems, including paper ballots to prevent fraud and restore voting rights for former prisoners. It would also restore protections included in the 1965 Voting Rights Act and guard against efforts by state officials who wish to purge voting rolls.
Source: Fox News