Asked by Politico’s Roger Simon whether President Obama has the authority to delay the election, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “I don’t know.” The correct answer is no, as a matter of law and good sense. …

In 2004, the Congressional Research Service published a paper examining the possibility of postponing elections. It turns out that various allowances can be made to states in the event of emergencies or disputes to hash out the results of a Presidential election, at least in time for the Electoral College to meet in December.

But the CRS paper is unequivocal on one point: “There is no current constitutional authority residing in the President of the United States, nor the executive branch of Government, to postpone, cancel, or reschedule elections for federal office in the various States.” What power there is to do that resides with Congress alone.