Law professor Rick Hasen said Thursday that he was “scared shitless” over the possibility that state legislatures try to overturn future elections.
Hasen joined anchor John Berman on CNN’s “New Day” to discuss the election integrity measures — most championed by Republicans — that had either already passed or were in the process of passing in multiple states. (RELATED: ‘It’s Raining Power Grabs, Hallelujah!’: John Berman Mocks Lindsey Graham For Calling DC Statehood A ‘Power Grab’)
Berman introduced Hasen with a language warning, noting that he had a “colorful” phrase for the way that he was feeling about those laws and their potential impact.
“You used a colorful term to describe how scared you are about upcoming elections,” Berman said. “Now, I want to warn the kids to put earmuffs on and I want to tell you this is cable so you can say it. How scared are you about elections going forward?”
“Well, I never expect to say I’d be scared shitless on CNN, but that’s how I feel,” Hasen replied. “We dodged a bullet in 2020, but the way things are lining up, I’m very concerned about our elections going forward, especially 2024 and the possibility that we’re not going to have an election where the results, the official results, reflect what voters actually want.”
Hasen went on to argue that former President Donald Trump had set the stage for such a scenario, saying, “he has asked for state legislatures to override the will of the people.”
In 2020, Hasen said that there are people willing to stand up against those requests — but he also claimed that the new voting laws could supersede those who might be willing to stand up against them in the future.
“I don’t think people understand how out of date our federal election laws are, frankly, the Constitution is in terms of presidential elections, at least,” Berman pressed. “But these states, they can get away with it, right?”
“Well, you know, the Constitution itself says that states — state legislatures can literally take away the power of voters to choose the president and they can choose the president themselves,” Hasen replied, arguing that technically a state could do away with a public vote for president entirely.
“It should scare everyone a lot,” Berman said, wrapping up the interview. “I don’t have the same potty mouth that some professors apparently do.”