The progressive plan to instill the nationwide popular vote and do away with the Electoral College just hit a major snag. A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that presidential electors in the Electoral College have the absolute constitutional right to vote for presidential candidates of their choice.
Progressive voices such as Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and many others on the left have sought to negate the influence of the Electoral College by promoting state laws that would force electors to vote for the national popular vote winner. Those laws are now in jeopardy as a result of the court’s ruling. AOC called it a ‘racist scam’.
“The Electoral College has a racial injustice breakdown,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Instagram Monday. “Due to severe racial disparities in certain states, the Electoral College effectively weighs white voters over voters of color, as opposed to a ‘one person, one vote’ system where all our votes are counted equally.”
The Electoral College was put in place by our Founding Fathers who established it in the Constitution as a compromise between the election of the president by a vote in Congress and an election of the president by a popular vote of qualified citizens. This was done to give all voters a voice even if they lived in sparsely populated areas. Without it, the major cities in the U.S. on both coasts would control the elections and they are almost all universally ruled by Democrats. The common man would have no voice in elections anymore.
The decision handed down by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also raises the prospect that electors could legally defect at the last minute and decide the occupant of the White House on their own in dramatic fashion, weeks after Election Day. This court held that the Colorado secretary of state violated the Constitution in 2016 when he removed an elector and nullified his vote because the elector refused to cast his ballot for Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote both nationally and in Colorado for the Democrats. The intent was part of a plan to convince enough members of the Electoral College to unite behind an alternative candidate and deny Trump the presidency.
It was a split decision by a three-judge panel on the Denver Appeals Court. “Article II and the Twelfth Amendment provide presidential electors the right to cast a vote for president and vice president with discretion. And the state does not possess countervailing authority to remove an elector and to cancel his vote in response to the exercise of that Constitutional right.”
This decision has the potential to cut both ways but it does stop the left in their efforts to do away with the Electoral College. At least for now.
The panel continued: “The Electoral College did not exist before ratification of the federal Constitution, and thus the states could reserve no rights related to it under the Tenth Amendment. Rather, the states possess only the rights expressly delegated to them in Article II and the Twelfth Amendment.”
The appeals court is standing on the premise that once electors show up at the Electoral College, they essentially become federal actors performing a “federal function,” independent of state control.
From Fox News:
“Organized efforts to undermine the Electoral College have picked up steam this year. The so-called National Popular Vote interstate compact, which would commit states’ electors to the winner of the national vote, has been adopted by 16 jurisdictions, accounting for 196 electoral votes, including 15 states and the District of Columbia.
“However, the compact, by its terms, will only take effect if jurisdictions accounting for at least 270 of the 538 total votes available in the Electoral College also sign-on.
“More than two dozen states also have laws binding electors to the results of the popular vote in those states.
“The Tuesday ruling could spell doom for a new Colorado law that effectively signed the state onto the national compact, by prohibiting states from forcing their electors to vote for either the national or state popular vote winner. Other states that have signed onto the compact include Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Washington, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, California, and New York.
“At the same time, Frank McNulty, an adviser to Protect Colorado’s Vote, which wants voters to overturn the law, cautioned that the ruling could also free electors to decide on their own to support the candidate with the most votes nationally — or any candidate, for that matter.
“It is a double-edged decision,” he said.”
This ruling only applies to Colorado and five other states in the 10th Circuit: Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. However, it has the potential to influence future cases nationwide in the unlikely event that enough Electoral College members strayed from their states’ popular vote to affect the outcome of a presidential election.
More from Fox News:
“The elector at the center of the Colorado case, Micheal Baca, was part of a group known as “Hamilton electors” who tried to convince electors who were pledged to Clinton or Donald Trump to unite behind a consensus candidate to deny Trump the presidency.
“After a flurry of filings in state and federal courts, the electors met on Dec. 19, 2016, and Baca crossed out Clinton’s name on his ballot and wrote in John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio who also ran for president.
“Then-Secretary of State Wayne Williams refused to count the vote and removed Baca as an elector. He replaced him with another elector who voted for Clinton.”
The court ruling in Denver could be important if a future Electoral College is so closely divided that a handful of “faithless electors” change the outcome by casting a ballot contrary to the popular vote, said Ned Foley, a professor at Ohio State University’s law school. “This opinion would be taken very seriously,” he said. “It would be considered judicial precedent.”
The ruling should be paid very close attention to and could have a significant impact on the 2020 election if it is close. This could set up an electoral crisis and it is sure to be a wild ride in 2020.
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