The Founders didn’t prepare for a president who refuses to step down, historians say

The Founders didn’t prepare for a president who refuses to step down, historians say

11/21/2020 9:30:00 PM

The Founders didn’t prepare for a president who refuses to step down, historians say

While President Trump continues to deny the results of the election, scholars warn there is nothing in the Constitution about what to do if he refuses to leave office. The framers never envisioned such a crisis.

But those looking to the nation’s Founders, or the Constitution they framed, for answers to such a crisis will come up empty-handed. There is nothing in the Constitution about what to do if a president refuses to step down when his term expires, according to three historians and a constitutional law professor.

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“No, the framers did not envisage a president refusing to step down or discuss what should be done in such a situation,” Princeton historian Sean Wilentz said. “There’s obviously nothing in the Constitution about it.”AD“This is a contingency that no one would have actively contemplated until this fall,” said historian Jack Rakove, a professor emeritus at Stanford University.

AD“We [historians] pride ourselves in saying, ‘Don’t worry, this has happened before,’ or, ‘Worry, this has happened before,’ ” said Jeffrey A. Engel, the founding director of theCenter for Presidential Historyat Southern Methodist University. “Right now, if all your historians can say is, ‘We are in entirely uncharted waters,’ I don’t even know how the rest of that sentence ends.”

Recently, Engel asked the post-doctoral fellows and undergraduates affiliated with the center — whose areas of study range from George Washington to Trump — to drop everything they were doing and search for any historical clues or parallels.AD“They all say they got nothing,” Engel said.

The Constitution says a president’s term expires after four years. That’s it. Congress set Washington’s first term as officially beginning on March 4, 1789. March 4 became the de facto inauguration date until the 12th Amendment made it official in 1804. Then, in 1933, the 20th Amendment moved that date up to Jan. 20 and further specified a president’s term expires at noon.

ADThis has been followed to the letter throughout U.S. history, when it was both easy and hard, Engel said. He pointed to Inauguration Day in 1989, when Ronald Reagan’s second term was ending and his vice president, George H.W. Bush was about to assume the presidency. At the close of his last daily briefing in the Oval Office that morning, “Reagan said, ‘Good. Well, I guess I’m done,’ and got out the nuclear codes from his pocket to hand them to Colin Powell, who was national security adviser. And Powell said, ‘Mr. President, you have to hold onto those until you’re not the president anymore’ ” — meaning, until noon.

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The navy seals did. Holy hell people don’t know history. The founders also didn't prepare for the case that a political party would confirm a mentally questionable person who took the party under suppression Nope. They didn’t prepare to have a clown in the White House either. It ain’t over til it’s over.

Isn’t that why they put the second amendment in there? They didn’t prepare for a mentally unstable President who lives in an alternate reality where he’s unable to accept defeat. First off, the election certification ain’t over (December 14) Until then, it stays undecided (FACT) Second, I’m sure the founding fathers didn’t see the digitalization of the voting system happen WP = trash

The founders didn't set up for Wide Spread FRAUD Not at the founding but laws changed due to it being tested after that. I believe the founders would have challenged the President who refused to leave to a duel, that would be it. That's why we now have Navy Seals for the Trump Extraction. TrumpConcede That's Nonsense - the alternative is to have an imperial system were the ruler never steps down and rules for life which makes no sense as the 'so called Founders' ( it's not their country to have founded as it existed before them!) fought the British monarchy who ruled for life.

The founders did prepare “LEGAL votes decide who is President, NOT the media. “ Yummy fish fritters Watch now for recipe IF PRES. TRUMP STEPS DOWN THEN HE IS ACCEPTING AND AGREEING WITH CORRUPTION.LOOKS LIKE THAT IS WHY JOE DID NOT HIT THE POLITICAL TRAIL,HE KNEW IT WAS IN THE 'BAG'.PAY ATTENTION TO THE EVIDENCE BEING FOUND.