The future leadership of the House GOP conference may be decided by a procedural motion on the morning of January 3rd. When the new 113th Congress convenes that day, the first order of business will be to elect a Speaker of the House. As my colleague Matthew Boyle reported, however, some GOP members are planning to preempt this vote with a motion to conduct the election of Speaker by secret ballot. If that were to happen, John Boehner may face a real fight to retain the Speaker’s gavel.

But if a member introduces that resolution for a secret ballot, the whole House will vote on that first. That vote will need to have a public roll call, meaning the American people, the press, and Boehner will know who voted which way. Even so, those who are considering this path forward to unseat Boehner know that Boehner and other establishment Republicans can’t legitimately oppose the concept of a secret ballot election for a leader of a political body.

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