In his opposition to the counting of electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) suggested Congress “follow the precedent” of another disputed election.

In 1877, just a few years after the end of the Civil War, a disputed election was resolved with a bipartisan electoral commission that put former Republican President Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House, but also ended most of the Reconstruction efforts aimed at enforcing the end of slavery and white supremacy in the South. The 1877 commission allowed Jim Crow laws to take hold in the South and remain for nearly a century later. But without much regard for that racist history, Cruz suggested today’s Congress follow 1877’s lead.

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