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Javaman

(62,490 posts)
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 10:20 AM Jul 2020

Supreme Court says states may require presidential electors to support popular-vote winner

Source: washtington post

State officials in Colorado and Washington had asked the court to settle the matter in case November’s election proves close enough that a small number of what are sometimes called “faithless electors” could determine the outcome. The 2000 election, for instance, was decided by five electoral votes.

This story is developing and will be updated.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-electoral-college-faithless-electors/2020/07/06/cf88f706-bf8f-11ea-b178-bb7b05b94af1_story.html



that's all there is at the moment
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Supreme Court says states may require presidential electors to support popular-vote winner (Original Post) Javaman Jul 2020 OP
I thought they didn't want to touch elections with a ten foot pole /nt bucolic_frolic Jul 2020 #1
Copy of the Court's 9-0 opinion (.pdf).... PoliticAverse Jul 2020 #2
States have a lot of leeway in handling their electors. Kaleva Jul 2020 #3
"States May Require" jayfish Jul 2020 #4
There is no constitutional requirement that mandates a state's electors vote for the winner. Kaleva Jul 2020 #5
No, but there are state laws with penalties nt Fiendish Thingy Jul 2020 #8
If the penalty is financial, then elected offices are up for auction lindysalsagal Jul 2020 #14
They either do, or they don't. not_the_one Jul 2020 #9
The "electoral college" doesn't say anything FBaggins Jul 2020 #12
Precisely. Igel Jul 2020 #27
... There has until now been no such stipulation, Ghost Dog Jul 2020 #6
Here is the list of states that require electors to vote for the winner in their state Kaleva Jul 2020 #7
Thank you Ghost Dog Jul 2020 #30
The CT that has been posted over the weekend is that Trump will challenge the popular vote Fiendish Thingy Jul 2020 #10
It isn't up to the legislature to certify the electors in several swing states. Kaleva Jul 2020 #16
That's my point - the CT doesn't take that fact into consideration Fiendish Thingy Jul 2020 #19
My hope is AC_Mem Jul 2020 #25
The only reason he wants to win is to avoid jail and the label of "loser" nt Fiendish Thingy Jul 2020 #26
This is good for us. BGBD Jul 2020 #11
This doesn't impact the constitutionality (or lack thereof) of the consortium FBaggins Jul 2020 #13
It goes beyond that BGBD Jul 2020 #15
It does not appear to do so FBaggins Jul 2020 #18
It does BGBD Jul 2020 #20
Nope FBaggins Jul 2020 #22
Wrong BGBD Jul 2020 #24
Two of the most important people, Madison and Hamilton, who devised the Electoral College marie999 Jul 2020 #17
Hamilton and Madison BGBD Jul 2020 #21
'The court said states may require members of the Electoral College to vote elleng Jul 2020 #23
So what happens if an elector votes "against" her state's choice? JustABozoOnThisBus Jul 2020 #28
This Wikipedia page has an excellent list of all past faithless electors... PoliticAverse Jul 2020 #29

Kaleva

(36,234 posts)
3. States have a lot of leeway in handling their electors.
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 10:41 AM
Jul 2020

Michigan is allotted 16 electors and each candidate submits a list of 16 people to be electors to the SOS. The people designated to be electors by the candidate who is certified by the SOS to be the winner of the popular vote in the state then meet in the state capitol on the appointed to day.

 

not_the_one

(2,227 posts)
9. They either do, or they don't.
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 11:11 AM
Jul 2020

In the end, the USSC will fall back on the "states rights" logic of manipulating and gerrymandering is A-OK, cause, you know, if states want to cheat it is fine with them. Probably by a 5 to 4 vote.

We can quit quoting that "ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE" crap.

(billboard)
ONE PERSON ONE VOTE IS A LIE
Due to the Electoral College, that is not how it works.
The Electoral College says 70,000 is a larger number than 3,000,000.
Apparently SOME votes count more than others.

WE THE PEOPLE need to draw the line in the sand and say POPULAR VOTE WINS. WE WON'T ACCEPT ANY OTHER. Oh, and by the way, FUCK THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE. IT IS NOTHING MORE THAN INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM.

Then we follow through on it. If we feel strongly enough about it, we can bring this country to a halt.



POWER TO THE PEOPLE
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
POWER TO THE PEOPLE, RIGHT ON

Igel

(35,268 posts)
27. Precisely.
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 04:19 PM
Jul 2020

States can do what they want.

A state can require.

A state can not require.

Nobody's going to order the state from above and compel it to pick a certain option. That would be more authoritarian than the Constitution allows.


One person, one vote operates at the level the elections are held. There are no federal elections. Every election is no higher than at the state level, picking a representative that works within the state or that represents the state (or portion of the state) to the next highest level of government. Pelosi's a state rep to a federal-level body, and beholden, presumably, to her district.

When we say "federal" we mean "federal": having or relating to a system of government in which several states form a unity but remain independent in internal affairs

 

Ghost Dog

(16,881 posts)
6. ... There has until now been no such stipulation,
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 10:45 AM
Jul 2020

is that right?

... The quality of the "popular vote" is debatable, often doubtful, isn't that also right?

Hmm.

Fiendish Thingy

(15,529 posts)
10. The CT that has been posted over the weekend is that Trump will challenge the popular vote
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 11:18 AM
Jul 2020

In several swing states, and that the republican legislatures will refuse to certify the electors, but, as has been noted, it doesn’t work that way in many/most states.

The CT also stipulates that Trump will declare a state of emergency due to the “fraud” in order for the DOJ to investigate/interfere with the SOS certification of popular vote tallies, which trigger the appointment of electors in many places, in the hopes of throwing the election to the House, where each state gets one vote.

While Trump/Barr may attempt such a strategy, I doubt it has much chance of succeeding. For one, the streets would fill with protestors who would make recent marches look like picnics, and this uncertainty would also cause the markets to crash. Trump/Barr would only have about 5weeks to interfere with the appointment of electors in the four states the CT claims would be challenged, which the CT claims would prevent either candidate from getting to 270, and throw the election to the house.

Not so fast.

The 12th amendment states:

The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.


So on January 10 (IIRC), the new Congress unseals and counts the ballots from electors who were appointed and cast their ballots on Dec. 14. The winner is whoever has a majority of electoral votes among the those votes sent to the House for certification. The only time it goes to the house is if there is a tie, or if 3 or more candidates split the electors and none have a majority. With a two way election, that is not mathematically possible (maybe that’s why Kanye declared his candidacy )
Trump could block the appointment of electors in all 50 states, and the 3 from DC would then decide the election.

Kaleva

(36,234 posts)
16. It isn't up to the legislature to certify the electors in several swing states.
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 12:42 PM
Jul 2020

In Michigan, it's up to the SOS who is a Democrat.

Fiendish Thingy

(15,529 posts)
19. That's my point - the CT doesn't take that fact into consideration
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 01:19 PM
Jul 2020

Barr would have to literally seize the ballot boxes, claiming them as evidence in an “investigation” that would last past the Dec. 14 deadline.

I’m sure Trump will try to get an injunction to halt the counting and certification in Michigan and elsewhere, based on ethereal “evidence”, but it’s a long shot that depends on the Roberts SCOTUS even agreeing to hear the case.

AC_Mem

(1,979 posts)
25. My hope is
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 02:30 PM
Jul 2020

that there will be such a landslide victory that it won't matter a bit what he does.

In fact, I'll go even farther. I think he KNOWS he is going to lose, and lose badly. I actually believe he will just leave - there won't be any fight or debating the vote. He has bigger worries - I'd be very surprised if he wasn't putting out feelers now on how to withdraw from the entire race based on medical issues - but only after he finds a way to evade persecution from his many crimes.

I could be wrong, but he isn't looking like he has allot of fight left in him and I don't think he really WANTS to be president. It was a fluke in the beginning, he never thought he would win, then when he did take the electoral vote, it was a boost to his ego. Just as in his personal business, he didn't ever want to do much, and I'm sure he had no clue how much would be expected of him as President.

He certainly is not running again because he loves this country and wants what is best for its people. It never was that and it never will be. It was always for his ego. He is losing and losing badly, and its too late and madness to think that he is going to be able to turn this around. The majority don't just dislike him - they really hate him, and they are going to overcome every obstacle put in their place to vote him out. We are going to take the Presidency, we are going to take the Senate, and we are going to increase our majority in Congress.

 

BGBD

(3,282 posts)
11. This is good for us.
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 11:19 AM
Jul 2020

Remember that a number of states are joining the consortium to pledge their votes to the national vote winner, regardless of how the particular state votes. If this consortium reaches enough states to secure a 270 vote majority, the group will vote as a block for the popular vote winner, effectively canceling the electoral college.

This ruling will ensure that states are able to force electors to follow that agreement.

FBaggins

(26,714 posts)
13. This doesn't impact the constitutionality (or lack thereof) of the consortium
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 11:55 AM
Jul 2020

The "popular vote winner" means "in that state".

Actually... I would only read Thomas' concurrence (the part Gorsuch didn't join) as a slight strengthening of the case for the consortium.

 

BGBD

(3,282 posts)
15. It goes beyond that
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 12:17 PM
Jul 2020

This isn't such a narrow decision that it only applies to a specific case of not following the states voting choice. The decision holds that states have complete power to choose how their electors are decided, so long as the Constitution doesn't otherwise exclude that power. So, if a state has a law saying the state will choose electors based on the winner of the national popular vote, this decision holds that the electors must vote for that person or they can be removed.

There will certainly be more challenges to it later based on interstate agreements, but that will not stop it from happening since it's not really reliant on that. A state can clearly write a law with the provision that it not be enforced until a certain point, such as when enough other states pass similar laws. This decision will prevent any electors from arguing that they can not be compelled to vote for the US popular vote winner.

I know conservatives are crowing about this, although a faithless elector has never actually hurt them, but it's a win for us.

FBaggins

(26,714 posts)
18. It does not appear to do so
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 01:10 PM
Jul 2020

The holding is simply that states have the power to enforce the state's voters' choice for President. It does not say/hint that states have the power to enforce a choice by voters outside the state.

The States have devised mechanisms to ensure that the electors they appoint vote for the presidential candidate their citizens have preferred



The decision holds that states have complete power to choose how their electors are decided, so long as the Constitution doesn't otherwise exclude that power. So, if a state has a law saying the state will choose electors based on the winner of the national popular vote, this decision holds that the electors must vote for that person or they can be removed.

Sorry. The second sentence is not supported by the first. The argument against NPV is precisely that Constitution does otherwise exclude that power. Nothing in this ruling weakens that argument. It says only that this power does extend to requiring them to vote for the selection made by that state's voters.

I know conservatives are crowing about this, although a faithless elector has never actually hurt them, but it's a win for us.

I haven't seen the crowing... but I suspect it'd mostly because this position (below) was unanimously proven wrongheaded. I don't think that's a conservative victory. There were plenty of DUers who also recognized that the "electors can vote for whomever they want" position was nonsense.

&feature=emb_logo
 

BGBD

(3,282 posts)
20. It does
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 01:31 PM
Jul 2020

There is nothing in the constitution that says a state can't decide electors based on the national popular vote. The constitution does not reserve that power to the federal government, it clearly gives it to the states. Therefore, no elector can argue that it is unconstitutional for a state to either require that they cast their electors vote for the national vote winner or be removed from as an elector is they refuse to do so. It takes away one of the clear arguments that would have been made against these laws.

The only constitutional argument is related to interstate agreements, which as I mentioned before, wouldn't stop the same individual states of each passing a version of the law that doesn't mention or rely on any agreement with the other states.

FBaggins

(26,714 posts)
22. Nope
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 01:47 PM
Jul 2020

You present an argument for why the Constitution does not restrict the states' power to devise such a system... but that argument isn't strengthened in any way by this ruling. It isn't addressed at all except to the extent that what a state can clearly do includes limiting the electors' vote to the selection made by the voters of that state (with two forms recognized in the ruling).

You can claim that there is "nothing in the Constitution saying" states are limited in their power to appoint their own electors... but the NPV claim is that the state can delegate that power to other states. It wouldn't be hard to see that as outside of the constitutional structure.

The power to do a thing does not imply the power to abdicate that power. Can the President appoint a "veto czar" and give her the power to veto legislation? Can Congress pass a law that creates a "diversity congress" of the nine largest racial groups and let any decision of five or more of them go to the president for signing? The fact that the Constitution does not explicitly forbid this is irrelevant... because it implicitly forbids it by the structure that it creates.

 

BGBD

(3,282 posts)
24. Wrong
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 02:02 PM
Jul 2020

You are applying restrictions to the ruling that the decision does not.

Directly from the majority opinion:

And the power to appoint an elector (in any manner) includes power to condition his appointment, absent some other constitutional constraint.


Secondly, the compact does not delegate the states authority to decide its electors to anyone, it simply bases it on the national vote. The state could likewise base it on height, if it wished. There are no restrictions to how states choose electors.

And again, this decision removes a potential, and significant, challenge to these laws.
 

marie999

(3,334 posts)
17. Two of the most important people, Madison and Hamilton, who devised the Electoral College
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 01:08 PM
Jul 2020

would be totally against The Supreme Court Ruling. Hamilton wrote about the men in the Electoral College, "made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station (of President)" Federalist Paper #68. Of course, now the Electoral College is a political instrument and our Founding Fathers are probably turning over in their graves.

elleng

(130,631 posts)
23. 'The court said states may require members of the Electoral College to vote
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 01:59 PM
Jul 2020

for the presidential candidates they had promised to support.

. . .the Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday, curbing the independence of electors and limiting one potential source of uncertainty in the 2020 presidential election.

Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring electors to vote as they had promised, but recent court decisions had come to opposite conclusions about whether electors may disregard their pledges.

The Supreme Court resolved the dispute on Monday in a pair of cases concerning electors in Washington State and Colorado, by saying that states are entitled to remove or punish electors who changed their votes. In states without such penalties, electors remain free to change their votes.

“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,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for seven members of the court

Election law scholars welcomed the ruling.>

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/us/electoral-college-supreme-court.html?

JustABozoOnThisBus

(23,314 posts)
28. So what happens if an elector votes "against" her state's choice?
Mon Jul 6, 2020, 06:14 PM
Jul 2020

Is the vote automatically changed to the "correct" one? Or does the vote stand, and the elector will be punished or pardoned as the winner chooses?

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