From two distinguished experts on election law, an alarming look at how the American presidency could be stolen—by entirely legal means
Even in the fast and loose world of the Trump White House, the idea that a couple thousand disorganized protestors storming the U.S. Capitol might actually prevent a presidential succession was farfetched. Yet perfectly legal ways of overturning election results actually do exist, and they would allow a political party to install its own candidate in place of the true winner.
Lawrence Lessig and Matthew Seligman work through every option available for subverting a presumptively legitimate result—from vice-presidential intervention to election decertification and beyond. While many strategies would never pass constitutional muster, Lessig and Seligman explain how some might. They expose correctable weaknesses in the system, including one that could be corrected only by the Supreme Court.
Any strategy aimed at hacking a presidential election is a threat to democracy. This book is a clarion call to shore up the insecure system for electing the president before American democracy is forever compromised.
Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. Matthew Seligman is a fellow at the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and a partner at Stris & Maher LLP.
“Their new book asks whether a second Trump attempt to subvert democracy could succeed. Their answer makes for uncomfortable reading.”—Ed Pilkington, The Guardian “Tired of the lies about the 2020 election? Buckle up: Trump is just warming up, and his allies may be getting craftier. . . . Welcome reading for anyone concerned with real rigged elections.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The award for hottest of hot takes goes to Lawrence Lessig and Matthew Seligman [for their book] How to Steal a Presidential Election.”—Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed
“Unless we are clear-eyed about the threat of election sabotage we cannot defeat it. This invaluable book provides the roadmap we need to defend our elections.”—Norm Eisen, senior fellow, Brookings Institution
“Warning that America is still vulnerable to another January 6, Lessig and Seligman—two of the nation’s foremost constitutional experts on presidential elections—masterfully reverse engineer and then defuse the constitutional nuclear bomb aimed at the heart of America’s democracy.”—former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig
“If you want to know how sinister actors could legally build the equivalent of a nuclear bomb to blow up presidential elections, this book provides a blueprint. Lessig and Seligman urge us to face up to our vulnerabilities and fix them before it’s too late.”—Richard H. Pildes, coauthor of The Law of Democracy
“Two of our greatest election experts draw a deeply informed yet sobering picture of how our current constitutional system defeats democracy and invites stolen elections. Lessig and Seligman show how to make U.S. democracy more robust and resilient, but only if the country surmounts its culture of bad faith.”—Jack Goldsmith, coauthor of After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency
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