A democratic norm endures January 6th: Congress and deference to states’ election certifications

Photo credit: Tyler Merbler, Wikipedia.

The siege of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the effort to subvert the counting of all states’ lawfully submitted electoral slates appeared to validate the narrative of democracy’s impending demise. The incident sent shock waves through all three branches of government, and the day will live in infamy. Yet, for all the awfulness of January 6th, the day ended positively: The democratic norm of Congress respecting states’ certified elections endured. Remarkably, this norm of deference was subsequently upheld a few months later when the House of Representatives chose to let the result of a disputed Iowa election stand, despite an obvious partisan incentive to overrule it….

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