The Supreme Court on Monday upheld state laws requiring those chosen for the Electoral College to back the popular winner in their state’s presidential race, a rebuke of a group of so-called “faithless” presidential electors in Washington and Colorado who sued after they were sanctioned for voting contrary to pledges they took before becoming electors. In a 9-0 ruling, the court said that those sanctions — in Washington a fine and in Colorado being removed and replaced as an elector — are constitutional. The cases come after a group of Democratic electors that called themselves the “Hamilton Electors” voted for moderate Republicans instead of Hillary Clinton in 2016, in an unsuccessful effort to convince Republican electors to vote for somebody besides President Trump. “Among the devices States have long used to achieve their object are pledge laws, designed to impress on electors their role as agents of others,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the court’s opinion. “That direction accords with the Constitution—as well as with the trust of a Nation that here, We the People rule.” Though many voters don’t realize it, when Americans cast their ballots in presidential elections they are actually voting for “electors” who later cast the official ballots that decide the presidential election. They almost always rubber-stamp the popular vote winner in their state, but at times have voted for a different candidate, as the Hamilton Electors did in 2016. “Ultimately it is really about reflecting the will of the voters who participated in the election,” Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman said in an interview with Fox News in an interview ahead of the oral arguments in the case. “And it is the state’s determination of ensuring that those voters are represented in the Electoral College, and it is a state’s right and it’s a state’s function.” The Monday ruling does not completely bar the possibility that there could be faithless electors in the future — the court ruled that states can require their electors to vote for the popular winner, not that they must. The case Kagan wrote the opinion for is called Chiafalo v. State of Washington. In that case, the justices upheld the ruling of the Washington Supreme Court. In an unsigned opinion, citing the reasoning of the Chiafalo opinion, the justices separately overturned the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that states could not enforce elector pledges, in a case named Colorado Department of State v. Baca. Kagan added: “The Constitution’s text and the Nation’s history both support allowing a State to enforce an elector’s pledge to support his party’s nominee—and the state voters’ choice—for President.” Kagan cited the appointments power in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, which she said “gives the States far-reaching authority over presidential electors, absent some other constitutional constraint.” Such a constraint, Kagan wrote, does not exist in the Constitution. “The Constitution is barebones about electors,” she said. “Article II includes only the instruction to each State to appoint, in whatever way it likes, as many electors as it has Senators and Representatives.” The lawyers for the electors argued that the name of their office — “elector” — and the fact the Constitution says they “vote” by “ballot” implicitly means that the electors must have discretion once they are seated, and that a state cannot sanction them for voting against their pledges — like how a state may not sanction a U.S. senator for violating a campaign promise. Kagan and a unanimous Supreme court disagreed. “Suppose a person always votes in the way his spouse, or pastor, or union tells him to,” Kagan wrote. She also cited other voting scenarios, like “proxy voting” or elections where there is only one choice: “[C]onsider an old Soviet election, or even a downballot race in this country.” “Yet if the person in the voting booth goes through the motions, we consider him to have voted,” she wrote. Members of both parties feared that if the Supreme Court did not issue a ruling on the faithless electors issue, a close election in 2020 could see just a handful of electors move to sway the result.
Democrats are complaining about the Electoral College once again. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is running for president, told a CNN town hall on Monday night in Mississippi that she wanted to abolish it because it meant that candidates avoided states that were not “battleground states.” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) followed suit on Tuesday, telling CNN the Electoral College was “conceived in sin” to “perpetuat[e] slavery.” Fact Check: FALSE. They are both wrong. The Electoral College is an institution created by Article II of the Constitution for the election of the president. It provides that each state will appoint a certain number of “electors,” equal to the number of representatives it has in Congress (House plus Senate). The electors are to meet in their respective states and cast their votes for president. The votes from all the states are then counted in Congress, and the person who wins a majority is elected president. The primary purpose of the Electoral College was to serve as a brake on populism. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 68: “A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment” necessary to select a person with “the requisite qualifications,” who would not use “low intrigue” or “little arts of popularity” to sway the masses of the people to support him. In other words, the Electoral College was designed as an anti-populist measure. Over time, the votes of the electors became more or less automatic — that is, all of a state’s electors generally cast their vote for whichever presidential candidate wins the majority of votes in that state. Few were particularly bothered about that, until George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in 2000 despite losing the popular vote. Even after that, Democrats did not change the system. Then came the election of Donald Trump, which Democrats still regard as illegitimate. Many cling to conspiracy theories that Trump somehow conspired with Russia to steal the presidency. The real (non-)secret was that Trump campaigned in Midwestern states Democrats had taken for granted. (Hillary Clinton did not even visit Wisconsin in the general election.) Warren, Cohen, and others now want to undo the system that allowed Trump to win. But their diagnosis of the problem is wrong. The reason candidates avoid states like California, Mississippi, and Massachusetts during the general election campaign has less to do with the Electoral College and more to do with the fact that they consistently choose one party over another. (Candidates do campaign vigorous in those states during the primary stage, and visit wealthy liberal states during the general election to hold political fundraisers.) It is true that a national popular vote would mean that voters who are in the minority in any given state would see their votes “count.” But it is untrue that candidates would therefore spend more time in rural states or small states. Quite the opposite: presidential campaigns would shift to focus on the country’s dense population centers, such as the New York tri-state area and Southern California. Elections would probably be less, not more, representative. As President Trump tweeted Tuesday: “With the Popular Vote, you go to … just the large States – the Cities would end up running the Country. Smaller States & the entire Midwest would end up losing all power.” A national popular vote would also enable cheating. Democrats know the voting rules are loosest in states they control, like California. In the 2018 midterm elections, for example, they used “ballot harvesting,” in which activists delivered thousands of mail-in ballots for other people. The practice is illegal in many states, but Democrats legalized it in California. They want to run up the score there, then use their “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact” to award other states’ electoral votes to the popular vote winner. Republicans cannot accept that. Then there is Cohen’s argument about slavery. He claims that the Electoral College was preferred by southern states because it allowed them greater clout than a national popular vote. Northern states could, theoretically, allow all of their adult residents to vote (though few did at the time). Southern states denied slaves the right to vote — but were allowed to count them, due to the infamous three-fifths compromise, in the size of their congressional delegations. That is part of the history of the Electoral College — even after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, when Democrats in the South continued to restrict the right of blacks to vote until the latter half of the twentieth century. But that is not the reason the Electoral College was created, and at this stage it has no effect whatsoever on the way we elect presidents. (Arguably, it is Democrats today that want to disenfranchise black voters, and other citizens, by counting illegal aliens in the Census toward the apportionment of congressional representatives to the states.) If anything, the current system favors the Democrats, because they are virtually guaranteed to win New York, California, and other large “blue” states with large numbers of electoral votes. (And it is quite possible that if the Electoral College functioned as originally designed, the electors would have stopped Trump from taking office.) The Electoral College is clumsy and archaic. But its replacement would likely be worse. The simple reason Democrats want to abolish the Electoral College is to rig the system so that they cannot lose. It is self-interest masquerading as civic virtue.
Exactly!! And well said, Joel. Joel B. Pollak is the author of that outstanding history lesson, and providing such great insight and perspective. Joel is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak. 🙂
Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez incorrectly stated “the Electoral College is not a creation of the Constitution” during a Tuesday night speech. “The Electoral College is not a creation of the Constitution,” Perez said during a lecture at Indiana University Law School. “It doesn’t have to be there.” The Electoral College, a mechanism for indirect election of the president created by the Founding Fathers as a compromise between smaller states and larger states, is clearly laid out in Article II of the Constitution: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.” Perez has previously stated that President Donald Trump “didn’t win” last November’s election because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but he has never denied the fact that it is part of the Constitution. The DNC did not respond to an inquiry into whether Perez truly thinks the “Electoral College is not a creation of the Constitution.” There are many educational resources available on the Internet that provide clear explanations of what is in the document, including many from the National Constitution Center, which was established by Congress to provide a “non-partisan … understanding of the Constitution among the American people.”
Tom Perez is a grand-standing, agenda-driven idiot. And, he’s trying to confuse the low-information demographic that tends to vote Democrat….which makes him an idiot AND a liar. To read the rest of this informative article, click on the text above.
House Democrats attempted to lodge protests Friday against the Electoral College votes of several of the states that backed President-elect Donald Trump but each was ruled out of order by Vice President Joseph R. Biden. Protesters then attempted to disrupt the count, standing up and chanting their own objections as they were dragged from the chamber by police officers. Mr. Trump was confirmed the winner with 304 electoral votes, well more than the 270 needed for a majority. Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ nominee, earned 227 votes. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was also confirmed as the next vice president, with 305 electoral votes. As the roll call of states proceeded a handful of House Democrats refused to accept the results, claiming that massive voter suppression, interference by Russian-backed actors and other problems poisoned the vote in a number of states, making it invalid. But under the rules, an objection needs to be in writing and signed by a member of both the House and Senate. No senators signed onto the objections, and Mr. Biden tossed each of them out.
And our Republic stands strong as ever! Kudos to VP Joe Biden (D) for doing his job and not putting up with this nonsense from members of his own party. Crazy Uncle Joe, as he is sometimes called, oftentimes does and says some breathtakingly stupid things. But, on this day, when it mattered, he stepped up. So, we give credit where credit is due. Now..all you sore loser Dems…it is now officially over.
Denver, Colorado District Judge Elizabeth Starrs has ruled against the state’s “faithless” electors who sought to defy the voters’ will by using Electoral Votes for Hillary Clinton to prevent President-elect Donald Trump from ascending to the White House. The judge reportedly warned they could face criminal charges if they defy her court order. “If [presidential electors] take the oath and then they violate the statute, there will be repercussions,” Starrs said in an order from the bench, according to the Denver Post. The phrase “faithless” electors refers to individuals who break away from the party’s pledged candidate and who refuse to vote for their state’s choice candidate. In this case, Hillary Clinton won Colorado and gained nine Electoral College votes. Judge Starr’s order means those nine electors must vote for Clinton and could face replacement, and possibly jail time, if they fail to do so. The electors in each state will meet and cast their votes for the president and vice president on separate ballots on Monday, December 19. Judge Starr’s ruling was in response to two Democrats among the state’s nine electors who had sued in an attempt to be freed from laws binding them to vote for the candidate who won their state’s popular vote, so they could join other Republican electors who are allegedly attempting to block Trump. Judge Starr’s court order reportedly also granted authority to Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams to replace electors — collectively referring to themselves as the “Hamilton Electors” movement — who violate the law. (The phrase “Hamilton” Electors is a reference to Alexander Hamilton’s argument in Federalist No. 68 that the Electoral College would be a special, elite deliberative body: “A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.”) Some of the “faithless” electors are taking cues from Harvard University constitutional law professor and former 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Larry Lessig, who is offering pro-bono legal counsel to Republican electors who are considering blocking Trump, through his anti-Trump non-profit known as the “Elector’s Trust.”
Good for Judge Starrs for standing for the rule of law! Excellent!! 🙂
Harvard law professor and progressive activist Larry Lessig has announced that he is teaming up with a California-based law firm to offer “free and confidential” legal services to any members of the Electoral College who will vote against President-elect Donald Trump in violation of state law. Lessig, a one-time presidential candidate, has served on the boards of numerous groups financed by billionaire George Soros. Lessig’s Electoral College scheme, which is being called the Electors Trust, is a last-ditch effort to stop Trump from becoming president. It comes after a petition drive by the Soros-funded MoveOn.org activist organization sought to abolish the Electoral College altogether. Lessig’s project also follows the largely failed recount efforts of Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who was aided by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Here at The Daily Buzz, we oftentimes say.. Follow the money! And, the whole recount nonsense by Dr. Jill Stein, who has ZERO chance of winning..well…anything!..is a great example. Who exactly is funding this? To what end? Certainly at this point they know that there is NO chance of changing the outcome. Trump got 306 electoral votes (you need 270 to win). Hillary got 232. In order for Hillary to overcome this through this recount bs, she would have to overcome the tens of thousands of votes in PA, MI, AND WI. And, a federal judge in MI stopped the recount (scroll down two articles). It is OVER. Yet, that doesn’t stop extreme liberal activists like billionaire George Soros, and his minions, from offering to help those willing to violate state law with free legal services! Folks, they are openly advertising that they’ll do anything, including illegal activities to stop Trump from getting elected. That’s the mindset of the people we’re dealing with. Be afraid…and then breathe a sigh of relief when this is all over on December 19th…