President Trump during a roundtable discussion at the American Red Cross National Headquarters on July 30. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Steven Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society, called President Trump's suggestion to delay the November election "fascistic" and grounds for the president’s impeachment, in a New York Times op-ed on Thursday.

Why it matters: The Federalist Society is an extremely influential conservative and libertarian organization that advocates for a text-based and originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Calabresi said he voted for Trump in 2016 and defended the president during the Mueller investigation and impeachment trials.

What he's saying: "I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist," Calabresi wrote.

  • "But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate."
  • "Election Day was fixed by a federal law passed in 1845, and the Constitution itself in the 20th Amendment specifies that the newly elected Congress meet at noon on Jan. 3, 2021, and that the terms of the president and vice president end at noon on Jan. 20, 2021."

The big picture: Calabresi called on every congressional Republican to tell Trump he cannot postpone the election and added that those who say otherwise "should never be elected to Congress again."

The other side: Trump said during a Thursday press conference that he does not want to see the election delayed, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, but also does not "want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything."

  • “Do I want to see a date change? No. But I don’t want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history, if that happens," the president said.

Worth noting: There is no evidence that mail-in ballots will lead to widespread voter fraud, as Trump has repeatedly claimed.

Go deeper

Cruz: Reversal on election-year SCOTUS picks is "not just simply your party, my party"

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argued on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Republicans should vote on President Trump's nominee to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court, calling it a "question of checks and balances."

The backdrop: Republicans stonewalled President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland following Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016, claiming that voters should decide in the election who is appointed to the court. Cruz said the circumstances are different now because Republicans control the Senate and the White House, whereas Democrats were in the minority when former President Obama nominated Garland.

Dems on Senate Judiciary tell Graham to delay filling Ginsburg's seat

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) speaking in August.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), called on Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to delay filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court until after the presidential inauguration.

What it matters: Democrats cited the Senate GOP's refusal to consider President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland following Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016. Republicans at that time claimed voters should choose the president and the president should select the justice, since the vacancy occurred during an election year.

Sep 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Top GOP senator: Process must work "pretty precisely" to confirm SCOTUS pick pre-election

Senate Rules Committee Chair Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that "there is plenty of time" to confirm a new Supreme Court justice before November's election, but that in order to do so, the process has to work "pretty precisely."

The state of play: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) became the second Republican senator on Sunday to say she opposes voting on Trump's nomination before the election, joining Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Two more defections would likely force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress.

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