Berkeley Constitutional Law Professor John Yoo Testifies at Disbarment Trial of John Eastman That Vice Presidents Can Reject Electoral Slates

The disbarment trial of former President Donald Trump’s former attorney and constitutional legal scholar, John Eastman, started its fifth week with testimony from Eastman’s star witness, Berkeley Constitutional Law professor John Yoo. The State Bar of California contends that Eastman gave Trump advice when he said one option to deal with the allegations of election fraud in disputed states was to have former Vice President Mike Pence refuse to accept the electoral slates from those states or delay their certification, but Yoo said the majority of scholarship on the issue agrees with Eastman’s position.

Yoo, who graduated from Yale Law School and summa cum laude from Harvard College, is considered one of the preeminent experts on constitutional law in the country, similar to Eastman.

Eastman’s attorney, Randy Miller, spent much of the day asking Yoo about previous law review articles and other articles he and others had written addressing the topic of the vice president’s authority in this area. One was “What Happens if No One Wins?” which Yoo co-authored with Robert J. Delahunty, a law professor at St. Thomas University for The Claremont Institute’s The American Mind. Eastman is the founding director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute.

In the article published in October 2020, Yoo and Delahunty went over the historical and legal arguments supporting why the vice president has this authority. They said, “We suggest that the Vice President’s role is not the merely ministerial one of opening the ballots and then handing them over (to whom?) to be counted. Though the 12th Amendment describes the counting in the passive voice, the language seems to envisage a single, continuous process in which the Vice President both opens and counts the votes.”

Read the rest of the article at The Arizona Sun Times

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