According to “Biden vs. Trump: The Makings of a Shattering Constitutional Crisis” the 2024 federal election could shape-up like this.
- In November 2024, some states will undoubtedly invoke the “Disqualification Clause” from Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to disqualify Donald Trump. In those states, the Republican candidate will likely be someone standing-in for Trump. In the remaining states, Trump will be on the ballot. Votes will be cast by the populace and state legislators will then decide how to cast their electoral votes.
- Electoral votes will be counted on January 6, 2025 in a joint session of House and Senate (chaired by Kamala Harris). A three-way split is probable. Thus, it is unlikely that Trump or Biden or Trump’s stand-in will receive more than half (270) of the 538 electoral votes. (Someone must win more than half the votes to be elected.)
- The 12th Amendment kicks in at that point. The winners are then chosen by the House–for the Presidency–and by the Senate–for the Vice Presidency. In the House and according to the “each state having one vote” rule, Trump could win the Presidency. But, knowing this, the House Democrats may simply walk out and prevent the vote from being taken. And in the Senate, the Democrat minority could filibuster to prevent the election of a Vice President.
- Thus, on January 20th with no President and Vice President having been elected by Congress, the Speaker of the House—currently Nancy Pelosi—will become the acting President (until the House and Senate decide).
The above scenario is triggered by #1, the application of the Disqualification Clause to block Trump’s candidacy. Stopping that disqualification would prevent this sequence of events.
But that is unlikely because Trump’s lawyers will have to apply separately in each of the fifty (50) states. If their efforts are blocked or unsuccessful in a sufficient number of “high electoral vote count” states, the three-way split with no candidate receiving the required number (270) remains the most likely outcome.
The article (linked above) reluctantly notes that this could all be avoided if the Congress (House and Senate, and then approved by the current President) were to make a joint decision that Trump did not foment an insurrection.
But given the Democrat majority of the House and the Office of the President, that is laughably unlikely.
Another possibility is that Trump, foreseeing this likely tumult, will choose not to run. A different Republican, one who is untainted by the events of January 6, 2021 and who is endorsed by Trump, could be a much more viable candidate.