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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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| | |-+  presidential elections during war time
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Author Topic: presidential elections during war time  (Read 20875 times)
JLB
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« on: May 12, 2004, 06:04:03 pm »
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I've heard a rumor that I would like to verify.  Is there anything that states a president may not be removed from office, including due to a presidential election, during a time of war?
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2004, 06:30:08 pm »
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A constitutional amendment could provide for that, but no I believe there is not.

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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2004, 07:43:24 pm »
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I've heard a rumor that I would like to verify.  Is there anything that states a president may not be removed from office, including due to a presidential election, during a time of war?

Where the hell did you hear that?  That's just stupid.
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Blerpiez
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2004, 08:15:25 pm »
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No, there is not.  Then anyone who wanted to stay president would only have to declare war on Liechtenstein
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2004, 04:35:07 pm »
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Lincoln.
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2004, 04:45:32 pm »
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I've heard a rumor that I would like to verify.  Is there anything that states a president may not be removed from office, including due to a presidential election, during a time of war?

I was also taught that, however it is not actually true. The example I was given was FDR and that the reasoning behind his long time as President was that there wasn't an election during wartime when actually there was in 1944. The reason he held office so long was that the 22nd Amendment which limits a President to 2 terms or 10 years, whichever comes first had not been passed at the time.
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2004, 06:59:59 pm »
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I've heard a rumor that I would like to verify.  Is there anything that states a president may not be removed from office, including due to a presidential election, during a time of war?

I was also taught that, however it is not actually true. The example I was given was FDR and that the reasoning behind his long time as President was that there wasn't an election during wartime when actually there was in 1944. The reason he held office so long was that the 22nd Amendment which limits a President to 2 terms or 10 years, whichever comes first had not been passed at the time.

They're actually teaching that in British schools?  Wow.  The United States differs from many democracies by constitutionally mandating regular federal elections that occur no matter what. The United Kingdom did not hold a parliamentary election for the duration of World War II, while the United States held regular congressional elections in 1942 and 1944 and a presidential election in 1944. Vigorously contested partisan elections in wartime are a fundamental part of our political system.

There are three pre Cold War wartime Presidential elections:

1812
1864
1944
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2004, 08:04:55 pm »
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Lincoln.


Lincoln died after the war was over
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2004, 11:19:58 am »
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Lincoln.


Lincoln died after the war was over

Wrong again.
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2004, 09:57:33 pm »
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Is there really a generally accepted date of the war's ending?

The Confederate troops capitulated in April 1865. Lincoln died on April, 15.
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2004, 01:51:41 am »
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Is there really a generally accepted date of the war's ending?

The Confederate troops capitulated in April 1865. Lincoln died on April, 15.

The Army of Northern VA surrendered in April. The CSS Shenendoah didn't strike the flag until September of 1865.
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2004, 08:30:29 pm »
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The last battle of the war was Brownsville, TX, in late April or May 1865, IIRC
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2004, 01:35:06 am »
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Lincoln.


Lincoln died after the war was over

Wrong.  The date of the end of the war is usually considered to be April 26, the date of Johnstons surrender, although fighting did continue afterwards.
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cwelsch
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2004, 07:42:34 pm »
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There was scattered talk during the Civil War and World War II of suspending elections "for the duration," but Lincoln insisted on holding elections.  FDR had a little less lattitude for suspending elections despite the same vague talk, and obviously they were held.

Presidential re-election during war-time is a political maxim, not a constitutional arrangement.  Thank God.  This isn't Ancient Rome.
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2004, 08:16:10 pm »
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There was scattered talk during the Civil War and World War II of suspending elections "for the duration," but Lincoln insisted on holding elections.  FDR had a little less lattitude for suspending elections despite the same vague talk, and obviously they were held.

Presidential re-election during war-time is a political maxim, not a constitutional arrangement.  Thank God.  This isn't Ancient Rome.

Suprised Lincoln didn't do it however. He loved to bastardize and b*tchslap the constitution.
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cwelsch
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« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2004, 04:21:28 am »
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He was actually pretty insistent on it, although obviously he wasn't so democratic with, say, Maryland.
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« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2004, 04:03:04 pm »
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He was actually pretty insistent on it, although obviously he wasn't so democratic with, say, Maryland.

I'm rather glad that he wasn't, because otherwise today there would be about 10 North American States, and they'd be speaking German in Paris.

Still, it is possible that a President could impose martial law to suspend an election in a time of national emergency.  I would even go so far as to say that, in the event that many people would not be able to make it to the polls for whatever reason, it would be the right thing to do.
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2004, 04:34:56 pm »
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Still, it is possible that a President could impose martial law to suspend an election in a time of national emergency.  I would even go so far as to say that, in the event that many people would not be able to make it to the polls for whatever reason, it would be the right thing to do.


I see no constitutional authority giving these powers to the president.

He/she wouldn't need constitutional authority.  Precedence of law would be enough.  Martial law is the suspension of ordinary, constitutional law.  That's the whole point.  Lincoln did it in 1861, so you do have precedence.
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2004, 05:48:14 pm »
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There are three pre Cold War wartime Presidential elections:

1812
1864
1944

I would add 1900 to that list which was during the middle of the Phillipine War (1899-1902) when the Filipinos found out that a war to "free" Cuba was not also a war to free them.
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2004, 10:13:33 pm »
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Still, it is possible that a President could impose martial law to suspend an election in a time of national emergency.  I would even go so far as to say that, in the event that many people would not be able to make it to the polls for whatever reason, it would be the right thing to do.


I see no constitutional authority giving these powers to the president.

He/she wouldn't need constitutional authority.  Precedence of law would be enough.  Martial law is the suspension of ordinary, constitutional law.  That's the whole point.  Lincoln did it in 1861, so you do have precedence.


My guess is that Lincoln could not have gotten away with that today. In some ways we have become MORE constitutional as a nation. Absent a horrific attack (worse than 9/11) nobody would acquiesce to martial law and the suspension of civil liberties. Certainly NOT to rig an election.

It wouldn't be done to "rig" an election.  But let's say someone explodes a dirty bomb in Manhattan on November 1, and everyone in the tri-state area had to stay indoors while they cleaned up the mess.  I think the appropriate action would be to suspend the election until everyone can get out to vote.
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cwelsch
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« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2004, 10:41:36 pm »
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SCOTUS: ex parte milligan, 1866

Lincoln's act of martial law was unconstitutional.  They could not prosecute a civilian in military courts while the civilian courts were still in operation.
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