Kushner Draws Criticism After He Suggests Postponing Election Despite The Law
The Washington Post reports that on May 12, Jared Kushner, son-in-law of Donald J. Trump, drew criticism by commenting during a Time magazine interview that he was not certain the general presidential election would take place on November 3 this year.
Kushner said, “I’m not sure I can commit one way or the other, but right now that’s the plan… Hopefully by the time we get to September, October, November, we’ve done enough work with testing and with all the different things we’re trying to do to prevent a future outbreak of the magnitude that would make us shut down again”
The Post reports that “His remarks were met with concern on Tuesday.”
Bill Kristol, a neoconservative political commentator and Bulwark editor, tweeted,
Kushner’s statement reveals amazing ignorance of the Constitution and law. It reveals startling arrogance in taking for granted he gets to have some say about when the election is held. It also reveals an utter lack of understanding of his very subordinate role in our democracy.
Federal law mandates that the presidential election be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, which this year is November 3. The Congressional Research Service explains, The text of the Constitution does not appear to contain a constitutional role for the Executive Branch in… decisions” to alter the date of the presidential election. Neither Trump nor Kushner as his adviser has authority to do so.
Kushner afterward issued a clarification of his statement to NBC News:
“I have not been involved in, nor am I aware of, any discussions about trying to change the date of the presidential election,” he said.
The White House also affirmed that Kushner was aware of the legal mandates surrounding the election date.
The Post also points out that the original Time article describing the interview said that while Kushner believed it was possible the election might be delayed, “Kushner said that isn’t his decision.”