The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, January 06, 2021 5:14 pm

Verbatim: Latta Statement on Attacks on the Capitol and the Joint Meeting of Congress on Counting the Votes of the Electoral College

The following was released on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH5) provided the following statement:

“These attacks on our democracy, our nation’s Capitol, and Capitol Police are abhorrent and must stop. This is not how the Constitution has guided our country and citizens over the past 232 years. My eternal gratitude goes to the men and women who protect us 24 hours a day at the Capitol. I pray for their safety.

“Like many Americans, I looked forward to four years of achieving our nation’s greatness together under conservative leadership in order to help America’s working men and women, farmers, veterans, and small businesses; bolster our defense; and ensure our leadership across the globe. To say I am disappointed in the election’s results is an understatement.

“The United States Constitution is the greatest document in self-government the world has ever known. There was great debate between the delegates as to what type of legislature we would have, what a judicial branch would look like, and of course, what kind of federal executive would be created and elected.

“As a constitutional conservative, I believe the first three words in the Constitution are bigger than everything else in that document. Those three words are, ‘We the people.’ The Constitution grants the American people the opportunity to vote for our nation’s President, and it provides a system for presidential electors from each state to formally elect the President. These presidential electors are collectively known as the Electoral College. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 states that ‘Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors,….’ The Constitution’s 12th Amendment further defines this process when it states, ‘The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President… and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President.’

“As required, the presidential electors cast their ballots, forwarded those tallies to the President of the Senate, and those lists were being opened and counted in a joint session today. The Constitution dictates the person receiving the greatest number of votes will be the President. Under federal law, if at least one member of the Senate and one member of the House of Representatives object to the state’s certification of electors, a Congressional vote will be held to reject the state’s electors.

“I believe the President had the right to go to court to contest states where cases of election irregularities were presented. In the dozens of federal and state court cases that were filed on behalf of the President, the President did not prevail. I supported an amicus brief that was very narrow in scope. It asked the United States Supreme Court to answer the question of the Electors Clause in Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of whether only the state legislatures could set the rules for choosing the electors in their respective states, as is so clearly stated in the Constitution, or could other state officials or parties do so. The Court did not address the issue, and it will be a simmering problem in presidential elections in the future. As called on by Senator Rob Portman, I support the establishment of a blue ribbon bipartisan panel to investigate the 2020 election and to put those findings into practice into coming elections.

“While I believe these actions were taken appropriately, I have taken a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I take that oath very seriously.

“The Constitution does not grant Congress the authority to overturn elections and overrule state and federal courts. We must preserve the Electoral College as outlined in the Constitution because without it, the entire landscape of electing the president would be irreparably altered for the worse. It is for these reasons that I will cast my vote to uphold the Constitution, and I cannot support the objections.”

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