Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 02:44 PM Feb 2016

Superdelegates offsetting the results of primaries is unconstitutional IMHO

I had been thinking how can this possibly be legal when the Constitution specifically delegates the right to run Presidential elections to the individual states, not to political parties. I found there were many people who believe kicking aside a candidate who prevails via acquiring the most legitimate votes in primary contests to usher in another candidate better suited to there preferences is unconstitutional.

Here is one example:

Superdelgate Intervention Unconstitutional

Even critics of superdelegate deals tend to underestimate the gravity of the issue. In its very essence, the superdelegate system is unconstitutional. It destroys the right of primary voters to choose their own nominee. It offends the principle of one person one vote. In three primary cases (Nixon v. Herndon, 1927, Nixon v. Condon, 1932, Smith v. Allwright, 1944) the Supreme Court affirmed that the right to vote in a primary (a right which includes the right to be counted and respected), is protected by the Constitution. Officials cannot legally circumvent the vote. These were discrimination cases, but the arguments apply directly to the superdelegate situation in the Democratic primary.

Up to a point, a political party is master of its own house. But no party, or group within a party, can legally tamper with primary results. In Terry v. Adams (1953), the Court ruled against the "Jay Bird Association," a group of powerful white Democrats who tried to create a private enforcement process within the Democratic primary. Justice Clark ruled that "any part of the machinery for choosing officials becomes subject to the Constitution's restraints."

The superdelegate system flouts the very purpose for which primaries were conceived. "Fighting" Bob LaFollette, the Wisconsin progressive who organized the first primaries in 1903, hated boss-controlled conventions. The aim of the primaries is to remove the nominations from the hands of professionals and the wealthy donors whom professionals obey. The superdelegate issue should not be resolved through deals or negotiations. The integrity of elections is not negotiable. The superdelegate system deserves to be abolished. (bolded emphasis added)

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2008/02/18/screw-voters-let-superdelegates-decide

I wonder what Lawrence Tribe would have to say on this subject....


Sam


Footnote: (reposted as a separate thread at the request of another DU'er)

109 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Superdelegates offsetting the results of primaries is unconstitutional IMHO (Original Post) Samantha Feb 2016 OP
I agree gyroscope Feb 2016 #1
Wanting a little democracy with your Democratic Party may just put you in the poo-poo firing line! Kip Humphrey Feb 2016 #2
Thanks for the warning -- I can handle it Samantha Feb 2016 #6
constitution has nothing to do with it. aidbo Feb 2016 #3
The political party is above the US Constitution? gyroscope Feb 2016 #5
The constitution does not apply. MohRokTah Feb 2016 #7
The rules must be consistent with the 15th amendment gyroscope Feb 2016 #8
The Democratic Party Does Not Constitute Governmental action Stallion Feb 2016 #11
You realize, don't you, that before 1968, most voters had no roll at all? brooklynite Feb 2016 #93
No, they don't. MohRokTah Feb 2016 #12
So what is the purpose of primary elections? gyroscope Feb 2016 #15
It used to be only party officials. MohRokTah Feb 2016 #17
There were no 'superdelegates' put back into the process John Poet Feb 2016 #92
To select some (most, actually) of the delegates to the national convention Freddie Stubbs Feb 2016 #22
Superdelegates overturning the will of the voters gyroscope Feb 2016 #62
The parties, remember each state has a party nadinbrzezinski Feb 2016 #55
i suggest you consider what happens in 2016 if superdelegates overrule the will of the people? highprincipleswork Feb 2016 #103
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2008 primaries. MohRokTah Feb 2016 #105
As well as the 14th. lumberjack_jeff Feb 2016 #63
The process of voting or caucusing in primaries is governed by the states and the constitution, aidbo Feb 2016 #14
This is very true Samantha Feb 2016 #73
YES. wildeyed Feb 2016 #83
The Constitution has EVERYTHING to do with it Samantha Feb 2016 #9
but we're talking about a political party's method of selecting a nominee. aidbo Feb 2016 #19
Do I understand you correctly? Samantha Feb 2016 #74
If that scenario was allowable by the party's rules, it could do that. aidbo Feb 2016 #87
... PonyUp Feb 2016 #4
Interesting argument, I don't think I agree firebrand80 Feb 2016 #10
The amount of adverse opinion on this subject is too overwhelming to post here Samantha Feb 2016 #33
What about the case of a brokered convention? firebrand80 Feb 2016 #41
No one would have a majority if there were a tie Samantha Feb 2016 #78
This is a very thoughtful post Samantha Feb 2016 #102
I'm a Bernie supporter but you are wrong. Motown_Johnny Feb 2016 #13
I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this Samantha Feb 2016 #16
You are entitled to your opinion mythology Feb 2016 #29
Did you read the thread carefully? (eom) Samantha Feb 2016 #35
The general election is govern by applicable state and federal law. HooptieWagon Feb 2016 #18
Exactly. Plus, the SCOTUS has ruled that political parties are private organizations. stopbush Feb 2016 #31
Yes. Voters can approve the process by voting for the party's candidate. HooptieWagon Feb 2016 #36
Is it your position political parties do not have to comport to state constitutions Samantha Feb 2016 #37
Not in the candidate selection process... So says SCOTUS. HooptieWagon Feb 2016 #43
Watching an early 50s Democratic Convention I remember jwirr Feb 2016 #20
A High Percentage of Super Delegates ARE Democratic office-holders Stallion Feb 2016 #24
Yes, and in the old system I think they would attend conventions jwirr Feb 2016 #25
Thank you so much -- the history of these issues is always interesting Samantha Feb 2016 #38
Bernie agreed to the rules. TTUBatfan2008 Feb 2016 #21
What the candidates agreed to is irrelevant. CentralMass Feb 2016 #26
So here's the process to alter it. MohRokTah Feb 2016 #28
There is not much to worry about right now... TTUBatfan2008 Feb 2016 #30
I hope you are right -- but at some point I am hoping that we insist on getting rid of these Samantha Feb 2016 #42
I agree Samantha Feb 2016 #39
So you would be okay with Republicans registering as Democrats and voting in our primaries? randome Feb 2016 #40
Some are doing it now as we "talk" because they are crossing over to support Bernie Samantha Feb 2016 #44
Bernie made an agreement. We didn't. HooptieWagon Feb 2016 #46
As I said in another post... TTUBatfan2008 Feb 2016 #49
Bernie's not being disenfranchised, we are. n/t lumberjack_jeff Feb 2016 #64
Internal party rules nadinbrzezinski Feb 2016 #23
I already know without looking factions are not mentioned Samantha Feb 2016 #45
Parties are a private organization nadinbrzezinski Feb 2016 #47
Please reread the first paragraph under "Superdelegates are Unconstitutional in the OP" (eom) Samantha Feb 2016 #51
I see I am far from the only one nadinbrzezinski Feb 2016 #52
Reminds me of when people complain about abridgment of their 1st amendment rights.. aidbo Feb 2016 #69
Yup, or twitter or facebook nadinbrzezinski Feb 2016 #70
The actual primary voting is covered by state and federal laws. HooptieWagon Feb 2016 #53
I vote for a name on a ballot so I consider that voting for a candidate Samantha Feb 2016 #59
frankly the precedent of ending the *White primary* is enough MisterP Feb 2016 #27
Be sure to ask Bernie's chief BlueMTexpat Feb 2016 #32
As you and I both know, politicians sometimes say what is politically convenient at the moment Samantha Feb 2016 #48
OK, fair enough. BlueMTexpat Feb 2016 #61
So why is there all this anguish among Bernie's supporters - DJ13 Feb 2016 #79
Please note that this is NOT the first time BlueMTexpat Feb 2016 #80
I remember 2008 DJ13 Feb 2016 #86
Well said. Nt stevenleser Feb 2016 #91
Well, who elects Boy Scout leaders? Teacher union leaders? Who appoints Supreme Court justices? randome Feb 2016 #34
Let's look at New Hampshire CentralMass Feb 2016 #50
WELCOME TO THIS THREAD, CentralMass Samantha Feb 2016 #54
Thank you. CentralMass Feb 2016 #57
According to Wikipedia Super Delagates Include State Elected Officials-Gov, Senator and Representa Stallion Feb 2016 #77
Unconstitutional? NobodyHere Feb 2016 #56
It is obvious the Democratic party runs the process as it wants Samantha Feb 2016 #60
Unconstitutional? Tarc Feb 2016 #58
Here is what will happen if the SD's go rogue Oilwellian Feb 2016 #65
I would really like to believe Democrats would never do this (sincerely) Samantha Feb 2016 #66
This happened in 2008 as well Oilwellian Feb 2016 #71
I appreciate this information but did you see the list of superdelegates? Samantha Feb 2016 #72
I did see the list Oilwellian Feb 2016 #75
so it's time to sue, in a favorable court, while the SCOTUS is tied. grasswire Feb 2016 #67
That thought occurred to me Samantha Feb 2016 #68
Berns agreed to the internal party rules. Dawson Leery Feb 2016 #76
So you can confidently say things such as brokered conventions and lobbyists becoming superdelegates Samantha Feb 2016 #85
The Constitution does not govern the primary process - and primary voters have no Constitutional Empowerer Feb 2016 #81
I know of at least one Court that would disagree with your premise Samantha Feb 2016 #95
That's a civil rights issue. wildeyed Feb 2016 #108
And you are entitled to your honest opinion. Sheepshank Feb 2016 #82
It is not just my opinion, Sheepshank, it is the opinion of many, many people Samantha Feb 2016 #96
then they all have honest, but low fact based constitutional law, opinions on this matter Sheepshank Feb 2016 #98
Many people who share my opinion are easily located with a simple Google search Samantha Feb 2016 #104
Just as many are right here on your thread and do not share your opinion. n/t Sheepshank Feb 2016 #106
If you have been thinking and believe it is unconstitutional... Yog-Sothoth Feb 2016 #84
You have a lot of factual mistakes in your post, not to mention pure insults Samantha Feb 2016 #97
Well your HO is wrong. Codeine Feb 2016 #88
Yes, I know small parties just announce their one candidate Samantha Feb 2016 #89
Well thought out DJ13 Feb 2016 #90
I don't have a problem with anything you say Samantha Feb 2016 #99
There is no constitutional basis for the primaries, for parties, for the whole fake rigged game. Warren Stupidity Feb 2016 #94
I think your title is essentially correct since the Constitution delegates the rights to conduct Samantha Feb 2016 #100
Article 2 Clause 2 and 3 are not your friends. Warren Stupidity Feb 2016 #107
Talk to Tad Devine. This was his idea. WhiteTara Feb 2016 #101
The existence of superdelegates does not "tamper with primary results" Freddie Stubbs Mar 2016 #109
 

gyroscope

(1,443 posts)
1. I agree
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 02:48 PM
Feb 2016

The superdelegate system is tantamount to voter disenfrachisement on a mass scale,
violates the one person one vote principal and a clear violation of the 15th Amendment of the US Constitution.

Kip Humphrey

(4,753 posts)
2. Wanting a little democracy with your Democratic Party may just put you in the poo-poo firing line!
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 02:48 PM
Feb 2016

just don't forget to duck. ...and good luck!

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
6. Thanks for the warning -- I can handle it
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 02:58 PM
Feb 2016

I have been a member of DU since 2000 and I have had a lot worse pitched at me.

Sam

 

aidbo

(2,328 posts)
3. constitution has nothing to do with it.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 02:50 PM
Feb 2016

This is a political party's process for nominating a candidate for presidential election.

Un-democratic and protective of the status quo is true though.

 

MohRokTah

(15,429 posts)
7. The constitution does not apply.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:00 PM
Feb 2016

Political parties make the rules. If you don't like the rules, run in another political party

Stallion

(6,480 posts)
11. The Democratic Party Does Not Constitute Governmental action
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:05 PM
Feb 2016

start another party-many on DU are lucky Democrats let you vote in Democratic Party primaries in the first place. Its 100% crystal clear that the 15th Amendment does not apply

"shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

Since the Democratic Party is not the United States or a state the 15th Amendment has no application-not to mention that no rights are being denied or abridged on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

brooklynite

(96,533 posts)
93. You realize, don't you, that before 1968, most voters had no roll at all?
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 08:20 AM
Feb 2016

The New Hampshire Primary was a rare exception. Most State Parties picked delegates without any voter input. Not saying it's "Democratic" but it's absolutely constitutional: The Constitution defines your right [n]to vote, and if you don't like the choice of one Party, you have the right to vote for the candidate of another.

 

MohRokTah

(15,429 posts)
12. No, they don't.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:06 PM
Feb 2016

When Ross Perot invented his party his rule was that he got to dictate the nominee. Not a single person got to vote.

I suggest you go back to a basic Civics class to learn how the constitution applies to things because there used to never be anybody voting for nominees outside party officials, and the major parties only changed things to keep their general election voters happy. There was never any court ruling because political parties are private entities.

 

gyroscope

(1,443 posts)
15. So what is the purpose of primary elections?
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:13 PM
Feb 2016

why not simply have the superdelegates choose the party's nominee and do away with the elections?

superdelegates make a mockery and charade of the democratic process.

 

MohRokTah

(15,429 posts)
17. It used to be only party officials.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:17 PM
Feb 2016

Caucuses used to be the norm for giving the party rank and file a voice in the decision.

Primaries were invented to simplify giving a voice to the rank and file, but party officials have always had a big say. Then, after the horrible fiasco after the extreme left took over the party in '72, power started being returned to party officials to avoid another such debacle. Even more was granted after the debacle of '84.

The party learned the consequences of the extreme left taking control.

 

John Poet

(2,510 posts)
92. There were no 'superdelegates' put back into the process
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 08:06 AM
Feb 2016

until the 1984 nomination. In the 1972-1976-1980 nomination cycles, ALL delegates were elected in primaries or caucuses.

Indeed, one might argue that the first cycle where super-delegates again played a role, they helped give us the Mondale debacle because they backed him by huge margins. Hillary's margin among super-delegates reminds me of the Mondale campaign. They were wrong then about electability, and they are wrong now.

 

gyroscope

(1,443 posts)
62. Superdelegates overturning the will of the voters
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 06:12 PM
Feb 2016

is voter disenfranchisement, no matter how you look at it.

 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
55. The parties, remember each state has a party
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:59 PM
Feb 2016

Changed rules after '68 because that was tearing the party appart.

Some state parties are closer to pre '68 thinking than others. But the USSC has ruled on this, as well as state courts.

If the party in your state decided that only delegates have a vote, elected by county chairs, they could technically do that. I fear they would face a revolt. But that is another kettle of fish.

For the record, if the party decides to overrun voters, 1968 comes to mind. And no, I am not putting this in more than just a remote possibility. Pols like to be in office. This would be political suicide

 

highprincipleswork

(3,111 posts)
103. i suggest you consider what happens in 2016 if superdelegates overrule the will of the people?
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 04:55 PM
Feb 2016

I say if, because it has not been decided yet.

But if superdelegates overrule the will of the people, 2016 will become an electoral disaster, in my opinion.

Even the Republicans can the point fingers at how ridiculous and undemocratic we are.

It's a loser's strategy. Let'w just admit it, and deal with it.

 

MohRokTah

(15,429 posts)
105. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2008 primaries.
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 05:02 PM
Feb 2016

I didn't hear anybody crying then.

And if the Super Delegates do make the final determination, which they are perfectly in their rights and responsibilities to do, there is not one thing unconstitutional about it.

 

lumberjack_jeff

(33,224 posts)
63. As well as the 14th.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 06:17 PM
Feb 2016

There's a better equal protection argument for voters in NH or elsewhere who are disenfranchised by superdelegates than there was for Bush v Gore.

 

aidbo

(2,328 posts)
14. The process of voting or caucusing in primaries is governed by the states and the constitution,
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:13 PM
Feb 2016

but the mechanism of selection (ie delegates and super delegates) for a party's nominee is up to the political party.

wildeyed

(11,243 posts)
83. YES.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 11:06 PM
Feb 2016


Come on! Really? It is not the government. It is a group that comes together to choose who it wants to nominate.

You could argue the party rules for choosing the nominee are bad. But you would first have to understand the rules and second, join the party and participate in the rule making process. But that would be hard work and then you would be 'The Establishment' too, oh the HORROR!

You could also argue that the rules the parties have put in place that make it difficult for third parties to compete in elections were bad. I whole heartedly agree! But first you would have to understand them.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
9. The Constitution has EVERYTHING to do with it
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:02 PM
Feb 2016

That is exactly where the states get their authority to run Presidential elections. The election laws of each state must be incorporated into its State constitution.

Where you tuned in during the Election 2000 controversy?

And thank you for your thoughts on this matter.

Sam

 

aidbo

(2,328 posts)
19. but we're talking about a political party's method of selecting a nominee.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:18 PM
Feb 2016

Not the election of one candidate vs. another to elected office.

And yes, I was paying attention in 2000. It was the 2nd presidential election I was old enough to vote in, and one of the first events that 'opened my political eyes'.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
74. Do I understand you correctly?
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 09:50 PM
Feb 2016

The Democratic party has two candidates it has approved running under their umbrella. Both stay in it until the bitter end. After all of the caucus states have tallied their totals, and all of the primaries have been held, Candidate A has less pledged delegates because he/she has received fewer votes than Candidate B, who ran away with it all. Is it your opinion that the party can say we prefer to nominate Candidate A over Candidate B? And please don't bring in the superdelegate factor for now. This is right after the election but before the convention.

Sam

 

aidbo

(2,328 posts)
87. If that scenario was allowable by the party's rules, it could do that.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 11:23 PM
Feb 2016

But who would want to be a member of that political party? Few would want to be a member of the political party that doesn't respect the will of its members.

All I'm saying is that political parties have their own way of selecting nominees. The states allow them to use their infrastructure to conduct votes and caucuses on their behalf (though usually not for free). Those votes and caucuses have to be up to the standards of the states and constitution. As a voting member of that political party, you are essentially 'opting in' to the rules by which they use the results of those votes and caucuses to select their nominee. The people running for the nomination (ie Bernie and Hillary et al) also have agreed to the rules in order to be allowed to run. The Democratic party has delegates and superdelegates, the Republican party (I think) only has delegates, other parties have other ways they select their nominees. I think someone in this thread mentioned how H. Ross Perot started his own party that just had him as the nominee, no vote needed.

The Constitution is agnostic on how a party makes its rules to choose a nominee - you could start a political party that chooses its nominee by having an arm wrestling contest between all its members and whomever wins is the nominee and the runner up is the VP nominee. But odds are that very few people would want to be a member of that party. And if the party were to put up that nominee in the general election, odds are that that party would gather very few votes from the general electorate.

Now! If the party wants to make use of the states' voting apparatus, then that is governed by the Constitution. This article does a good job of explaining why this is the case. http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2015/09/who-controls-primary-elections-and-who-gets-to-vote/

In 1923, Texas passed a law forbidding blacks from participating in the Texas Democratic Party primary. When Dr. L.A. Nixon was denied access to the polls on account of his race, he sued the state of Texas, claiming that the restriction violated his constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The Supreme Court struck down the restriction, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes writing that it was “hard to imagine a more direct and obvious infringement” of the 14th Amendment.

In response to the Court’s decision, the Texas Democratic Party instituted a rule prohibiting blacks from participating in its primaries, which was similarly challenged as a 14th Amendment violation. But the Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Texas Democratic Party, finding that the situation at hand was fundamentally different than that in the earlier case.

The Court explained that the Democratic Party was a private organization and could determine for itself its eligibility and membership requirements. The scope of the 14th Amendment was constrained by the “state action doctrine,” meaning that it guaranteed equal treatment only under governmental action and could not regulate the actions of private organizations like the Democratic Party.

Nine years later, however, the Court reversed this decision in Smith v. Allwright, in which it adopted a broader conception of “state action.” It reasoned that primary elections are an integral component of general elections and the democratic process. As a result, primaries must be seen as sanctioned by the state and are therefore subject to 14th and 15th Amendment scrutiny. Despite the fact that the Democratic Party was a private organization, the Court acknowledged that disenfranchisement from primary elections is a denial of voting rights and rectified the situation.

firebrand80

(2,760 posts)
10. Interesting argument, I don't think I agree
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:04 PM
Feb 2016

For one the individual voter is technically voting for a delegate to the national convention. The voters voice is not being violated in that sense. The Superdelegate system isn't tampering with the results per se, it's just a different part of the same process of choosing a nominee.

Also, for this to even be an issue that one could challenge in court, there would have actual harm to a candidate, that is to say, we would have to be in a situation where a candidate won more pledged delegates, but lost the nomination because a majority of SDs went the other way. I think this is very, very, unlikely to ever happen, unless the SDs, for some reason, are suddenly interested in committing political mass suicide.


Samantha

(9,314 posts)
33. The amount of adverse opinion on this subject is too overwhelming to post here
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:16 PM
Feb 2016

I am going to just post a few excerpts.

But first, just to respond to that very first sentence you wrote, in some cases yes, in other cases no. What about this:

By contrast, the unpledged PLEO delegates (Rule 9.A) are seated without regard to their presidential preferences, solely by virtue of being current or former elected officeholders and party officials. Many of them have chosen to announce endorsements, but they are not bound in any way. They may support any candidate they wish, including one who has dropped out of the presidential race.[6] The other superdelegates, the unpledged add-on delegates (Rule 9.B), who need not be PLEOs, are selected by the state parties after some of the pledged delegates are chosen,[2] but they resemble the unpledged PLEO delegates in being free to vote as they wish.

Unpledged PLEO delegates should not be confused with pledged PLEOs. Under Rule 9.C, the pledged PLEO slots are allocated to candidates based on the results of the primaries and caucuses.[2] Another difference between pledged PLEOs and unpledged PLEOs is that there is a fixed number of pledged PLEO slots for each state, while the number of unpledged PLEOs can change during the campaign. Pledged PLEO delegates are not generally considered superdelegates.


You are correct in saying superdelegates have never caused a candidate to lose a nomination, but it could happen. There could be harm to a candidate, but most of all it would be grossly unfair to all of the voters who in primaries supported that candidate. And that is where our election laws could enter in.

Check this comment out:

Given how Sanders falls well outside the establishment," Timm continues, "it’s hard to see how he can gain a significant number to make up for Clinton’s lead—meaning it’s more likely that superdelegates would at least want to tip the scales in favor of Clinton, even if he ends up winning more primaries."

As far back as August, the Clinton campaign boasted having the support of more than 440 superdelegates.

What's more, as Intercept journalist Lee Fang reveals in this series of tweets, many of the superdelegates who have already pledged support to Clinton have fundraising or established lobbying ties to the candidate.

The entire process, Karp continued, exposes another leg of what he refers to as "the invisible primary," where "media elites, big donors, union leadership" and the heads of other Democratic party-aligned groups have "pushed back against the Sanders insurgency" and "launched a consolidated effort to [stand] up for Clinton as the establishment candidate." (emphasis added)


http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/02/11/after-nh-trouncing-clintons-delegate-haul-exposes-rigged-electoral-system

But I will close out this response to you with a quote from DWS:

“Unpledged delegates exist, really, to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists,” Wasserman Shultz said, adding that the Democratic Party “highlights inclusiveness and diversity at our convention” and wants to give activists “every opportunity” to participate, which she says it what the superdelegates are for.


http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/02/11/cnn-host-challenges-wasserman-schultz-on-rigged-superdelegates-process-just-watch-her-response/

Just something to think about, firebrand80, and thanks for posting on this thread. I apologize for the length of this post.



Sam



firebrand80

(2,760 posts)
41. What about the case of a brokered convention?
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:29 PM
Feb 2016

As I understand the rules, if after the first round of voting no candidates has a majority, all delegates are "released" and are free to vote for any candidate. Since a delegate can end up supporting a candidate that a particular voter did not wish to support, can we say that voter was unconstitutionally deprived of his vote? No, because the voter is technically voting for a delegate, who is bound by all the rules of the party convention.

On the issue of SD overturning the the pledged delegates, I just don't see that happening, especially in a year like this. There is simply no incentive for the SDs to do it. Hillary would certainly lose the GE, and they would destroy the party, and likely their own political futures, along with it.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
78. No one would have a majority if there were a tie
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 10:54 PM
Feb 2016

But a lot of things can happen so I looked this up. This is pretty interesting:

In United States politics, a brokered convention is a situation in which no single candidate has secured a pre-existing majority of delegates (whether those selected by primary elections and caucuses, or superdelegates) prior to the first official vote for a political party's presidential candidate at its nominating convention.

Once the first ballot, or vote, has occurred, and no candidate has a majority of the delegates' votes, the convention is then considered brokered; thereafter, the nomination is decided through a process of alternating political horse-trading, and additional re-votes.[1][2][3][4] In this circumstance, all regular delegates (who previously may have been pledged to a particular candidate according to rules which vary from state to state) are "released" and are able to switch their allegiance to a different candidate before the next round of balloting. It is hoped that this 'freedom' will result in a re-vote resulting in a clear majority of delegates for one candidate.

Superdelegate votes are counted on the first ballot. Although the term "brokered convention" is sometimes used to refer to a convention where the outcome is decided by superdelegate votes rather than pledged delegates alone, this is not the original sense of the term. Like a brokered convention, the potentially decisive role played by superdelegates can often go against the popular vote from the primaries and caucuses. (bold emphasis added)


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brokered_convention

Sam

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
102. This is a very thoughtful post
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 04:46 PM
Feb 2016

Yes, but in theory it only goes to a second round if there is a tie.... I don't see that happening. Of course, someone might throw something into the water, and suddenly, things change.

Yes, if there is a second round a delegate can support another candidate, and the only backlash he would have to worry about is if he or she is an elected official, it might be difficult to hold on to his seat. Both Hillary and Bernie Sanders are dug in, and I don't thing too many voters on either side would have much of a forgiving nature to a delegate who they felt betrayed them.

I hope what you say in your second paragraph turns out to be true, but as I just said in another post, nothing surprises me any more. There is a lot of money and power at stake here.

Thanks for posting on my thread.

Sam

 

Motown_Johnny

(22,308 posts)
13. I'm a Bernie supporter but you are wrong.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:07 PM
Feb 2016

There are no constitutional protections for party elections. The parties can select nominees any way they want.


At this point we need to focus on the primary contests and assume that the SDs will not overturn the will of the people. If they do, then there is a problem.



Samantha

(9,314 posts)
16. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:17 PM
Feb 2016

"There are no constitutional protections for party elections" because the Constitution delegates the right to conduct Presidential elections to states, not parties (as I said above). And each state must adhere to the election law defined in its constitution.

My personal opinion is that superdelegates should be eliminated all together so these controversies do not arise.

Thanks for giving me your opinion on this thread.

Sam

 

mythology

(9,527 posts)
29. You are entitled to your opinion
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:59 PM
Feb 2016

But you're unquestionably wrong.

You can think it's small d undemocratic, but you don't have a legal leg to stand on to claim it's unconstitutional.

 

HooptieWagon

(17,064 posts)
18. The general election is govern by applicable state and federal law.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:18 PM
Feb 2016

The Parties are private entities, not governmental, and can select the candidates to represent them in any manner they like. There are no laws. You could have a dozen men in a smoke-filled room select the candidate , which is how it used to be done.
However, the parties want people to vote for their candidate in the general election. The best way to do that is to involve them in the candidate selection process. If people don't feel like they've been heard in the selection process, there's a much lower likelihood of them voting for the candidate in the general election.

stopbush

(24,468 posts)
31. Exactly. Plus, the SCOTUS has ruled that political parties are private organizations.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:05 PM
Feb 2016

They can select their candidates however they want.

 

HooptieWagon

(17,064 posts)
36. Yes. Voters can approve the process by voting for the party's candidate.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:21 PM
Feb 2016

Or can disapprove by not.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
37. Is it your position political parties do not have to comport to state constitutions
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:22 PM
Feb 2016

or the United States Constitution?

Sam

 

HooptieWagon

(17,064 posts)
43. Not in the candidate selection process... So says SCOTUS.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:34 PM
Feb 2016

The political parties are private organizations, not government entities. The minor parties don't have primaries, and usually don't have a convention. They appoint a candidate. Some of the out-lying US Territories just appoint the Dem delegates by local committee. Same lack of rules apply to the major parties.
However, as I noted above, the parties do want people to vote for their candidates. Involving them in the selection process (by primaries and caucuses) gives them a stake in the game, and they're more likely to vote. If they perceive they've been shut out, they won't vote. A lot of Ron Paul supporters didn't vote for Romney, because they thought the process was rigged (it was) and their voices silent (they were). Paul wasn't likely to win the nomination anyway, but alienating his supporters only hurt Romney. DNClinton is doing that on steroids. It will bite her badly in the ass.

jwirr

(39,215 posts)
20. Watching an early 50s Democratic Convention I remember
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:20 PM
Feb 2016

seeing Eleanor Roosevelt on the floor of the convention. I am pretty sure she was one of the regular delegates from NY. She was elected to be a delegate.

How many times do we see that today? Or for that matter I do not remember it after the 60s.

When the party instituted super-delegates I remember the complaint was that people like her and elected officials no longer had a say in the primary system. Not sure how this happened but could it be that they do not attend local state conventions and thus they are no longer seen at conventions? So to answer this problem the leadership of the party decided we needed super-delegates.

I would rather not have super-delegates - just posting to tell you some of the history.

jwirr

(39,215 posts)
25. Yes, and in the old system I think they would attend conventions
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:48 PM
Feb 2016

and almost automatically become one of the slate elected to go to the national convention. They would not have been extras. I remember that they usually had the honor of announcing their states support for the candidate that got their vote.

"The great state of _____, the home of Senator_____, casts 10 votes for _____ and 15 votes for_______."

Eleanor did that the year I watched her.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
38. Thank you so much -- the history of these issues is always interesting
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:24 PM
Feb 2016

I read a piece earlier in the week that talked about the exact point in which the Democratic party decided to have superdelegates, and it was very informative. I just haven't been able to find it today. But I will keep looking.

Thanks for posting on my thread.

Sam

TTUBatfan2008

(3,623 posts)
21. Bernie agreed to the rules.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:21 PM
Feb 2016

I think the party should modify this at least to some degree in future elections, but the candidates agreed to the current system and that's the way it goes for this particular election.

CentralMass

(15,265 posts)
26. What the candidates agreed to is irrelevant.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:55 PM
Feb 2016

The voter's have had their fill of the rigged political process. The will of the voters should not be circumvented by the party hierarchy because they know better. If that is going to happen and malfeasance does occur and we are told tough that this the process, take it or leave it, I believe many will leave it.

 

MohRokTah

(15,429 posts)
28. So here's the process to alter it.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:58 PM
Feb 2016

Become a member of the DNC and move up the ranks. Gt enough national delegates to the convention to agree with you and then get the rules overturned.

That's how it works, no matter how much you dislike it.

TTUBatfan2008

(3,623 posts)
30. There is not much to worry about right now...
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:01 PM
Feb 2016

Clinton is very likely to win more votes and delegates from the actual voters. If she doesn't, I will agree that the party is looking at a bad situation at the convention. But as I said, she is very likely to win. It's still very early. Let's just watch it play out. I suspect there won't be any controversy.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
42. I hope you are right -- but at some point I am hoping that we insist on getting rid of these
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:31 PM
Feb 2016

superdelegates.

Bill Clinton is one. And I am wondering does he get to vote in his state where he is registered, and then because he is a superdelegate he counts as a weight which represents a whole delegate??? More simply put, do superdelegates have more than one vote?


Sam

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
39. I agree
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:26 PM
Feb 2016

I think the will of the people is important, and most of us are under the impression the integrity of the vote should be preserved.

And thanks for jumping in here. I was starting to feel lonely on the subject....

Sam

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
40. So you would be okay with Republicans registering as Democrats and voting in our primaries?
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:29 PM
Feb 2016

There needs to be a mechanism in place to prevent this and that's what superdelegates are designed to do.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]Stop looking for heroes. BE one.[/center][/font][hr]

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
44. Some are doing it now as we "talk" because they are crossing over to support Bernie
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:35 PM
Feb 2016

He typically gets 25 percent of the Republican vote in Vermont when he runs.

So in cases where people are generally voting for their true preference, I will not say it is wrong. But when you get into the terraine of typical political dirty tricks, which is what I think you are referring to, of course that is wrong.

But I am not sure how you stop the second without hurting the first.

Sam

 

HooptieWagon

(17,064 posts)
46. Bernie made an agreement. We didn't.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:42 PM
Feb 2016

We are under no obligation to support a nominee, if we feel they were illegitimately nominated. If a majority of voters voted for Sanders delegates (which is what we're doing in the primary), and the delegates nullify that result, then that Sanders majority will not view a Clinton nomination as legitimate.

TTUBatfan2008

(3,623 posts)
49. As I said in another post...
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:45 PM
Feb 2016

...it is still very early. Hillary has a big lead in polling of a lot of the states coming up. She is very likely to win a solid majority of voter support in coming weeks/months. It's not something to worry about right now. If we get to May or June and Sanders is leading in votes, then maybe start worrying at that point.

 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
23. Internal party rules
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 03:23 PM
Feb 2016

Have nothing to do with the Constitution, unless you can quote where in the Constitution factions (the term used back then) are mentioned.

Hint, the closest you will get to this is in the Federalist.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
45. I already know without looking factions are not mentioned
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:39 PM
Feb 2016

I do not agree that internal party rules can supersede a state constitution or the intent of the U.S. Constitution.

Thanks for posting on my thread.

Sam

 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
47. Parties are a private organization
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:43 PM
Feb 2016

And how they elect their leaders is up to them. This is not a constitutional matter. This reminds me when people scream treason on things that are not.

For the record, if the party does supersede the primaries, it will be the end of the party as we know it. However I doubt any court, beyond public opinion that is, will get involved

 

aidbo

(2,328 posts)
69. Reminds me of when people complain about abridgment of their 1st amendment rights..
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 09:06 PM
Feb 2016

..on a privately owned website like DU.

 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
70. Yup, or twitter or facebook
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 09:13 PM
Feb 2016

exactly.

Mind you, if the party choses to go down that road, I suspect they will release the Kraken in the middle of the Convention and 1968 will come rushing back at them... HARD

Perhaps that will be a good reminder though. Without the voter, you cannot get elected,

 

HooptieWagon

(17,064 posts)
53. The actual primary voting is covered by state and federal laws.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:53 PM
Feb 2016

For example, the DNC can't tell Millenials they can't vote in the primary. However, we are not voting for the nominee, we are voting for delegates to support our candidate for the nomination. Whatever rules the DNC makes in assigning delegates is purely up to them, not state or federal law. Our only recourse is to not vote in GE for our party's nominee if we feel the process was unfair.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
59. I vote for a name on a ballot so I consider that voting for a candidate
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 05:10 PM
Feb 2016

It is usually the Secretary of State which receives the final numbers of the votes and determines the composition of the slate of electors to be reported to the Electoral College.

An outstanding example of that was in 2000 when the Florida Legislature threatened that even if the recount were allowed to take place, it would still send a Republican slate to the Electoral College, even if Gore a Democrat prevailed. That would have been unconstitutional, and the slate could have been disallowed.

But you are correct in saying the actual primary voting is covered by state and federal laws. The states are supposed to have all of their election laws covered in the state constitution.

Thanks for posting on my thread, HooptieWagon.

Sam

BlueMTexpat

(15,417 posts)
32. Be sure to ask Bernie's chief
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:13 PM
Feb 2016

strategist Tad Devine all about superdelegates. Here he is in his own words in 2008. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89369899

How times change. The superdelegate rules have not changed since 1984 and the process has worked just fine. Those are the Dem party rules. If one chooses to run as a Democrat, then one follows those rules.

Lawrence Tribe has had plenty of time since 1984 to make his case.

Please explain why the rules should be changed in the middle of the cycle for the 2016 election just because Bernie decided to run as a Democrat in 2015.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
48. As you and I both know, politicians sometimes say what is politically convenient at the moment
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:44 PM
Feb 2016

I am not Tad Devine and this is not 2008. I am trying to have a general discussion on this subject and why this is allowed by the people.

And just for the record, I don't change my opinion on important issues depending on the candidate.

Sam

PS Nowhere did I say we should stop in the middle of the 2016 cycle....

BlueMTexpat

(15,417 posts)
61. OK, fair enough.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 05:57 PM
Feb 2016

I know that the issue of superdelegates is a frustrating one for those who were not aware that this is a feature of the Presidential nomination process - more so for Dems than Reps - and has been so for a LONG time. Wiki has a good overview of what, how, when, why and various controversies surrounding them, as well as additional informative links. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superdelegate

My point in posting Tad Devine's words is to show that he, as Bernie's campaign strategist, knew exactly what they were and why and, if he hadn't advised Bernie fully about them before the process even got started, then he was not doing his job. So the fact is that both Tad AND Bernie knew full well about this means that they went into the process with their eyes open.

So why is there all this anguish among Bernie's supporters - basically left unchecked BOTH by the candidate AND his chief strategist - when they knew about this all along?

You can have your opinion on it and certainly by all means write to the DNC so that they consider changing the rules. Perhaps they will and perhaps they won't. But any rule change will not happen in 2016. That is not DWS's fault and that is not Hillary's fault, as too many are only too happy to charge. That is the process.

And no, the rules about superdelegates are not prima facie unconstitutional. They are internal rules of the Democratic Party to which the Constitution does not apply. If you read the Wiki piece, you will note that superdelegates have in the end supported the candidate who wins the most pledged delegates, EITHER because they voluntarily decided to switch OR because the candidate releases them from their support before the Nomination Convention, just as Hillary herself did in 2008.

There is little chance that any delegates currently endorsing Clinton will switch before the primary process has run its course. The mere fact that her support IS so strong is because they actually BELIEVE that she is the strongest Dem candidate for 2016. Should that situation change, so will their support.

It's really nothing to get bent out of shape over - at least, not now. We're just getting started.

Edited hopefully to mitigate confusion: pledged delegates = those won as a result of state primaries; unpledged = those who have endorsed and support a candidate

DJ13

(23,671 posts)
79. So why is there all this anguish among Bernie's supporters -
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 11:00 PM
Feb 2016

Theres the appearance of rigging the entire primary process when super delegates pre announce their intended vote prior to the convention.

Its obvious the party leaders intend this strategy to depress support for Sanders in upcoming primaries.

Lets just admit that the party would rather lose the GE with Clinton than to probably win with Sanders, because thats what they seem determined to accomplish by acting this way.

BlueMTexpat

(15,417 posts)
80. Please note that this is NOT the first time
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 11:04 PM
Feb 2016

this has ever happened. In fact, it is par for the course for SDs to announce their support PRIOR to the Convention.

It's just that SBS supporters are paying attention for the first time and thus imagining CTs everywhere.

It demonstrates political naivete.

DJ13

(23,671 posts)
86. I remember 2008
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 11:20 PM
Feb 2016

I remember Hillary desperately trying to keep the super delegates pledged to her to follow through so she would be the nominee, of course that didnt happen and Obama rightfully won.

This time is different, where Obama was basically just another centrist who would maintain the status quo, Sanders threatens the establishment, he wont follow tradition and keep the cronyism intact, and that could easily tip the scales enough for the party to go ahead and push Clinton's nomination through.

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
34. Well, who elects Boy Scout leaders? Teacher union leaders? Who appoints Supreme Court justices?
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:17 PM
Feb 2016

Very little is done on this planet by a simple majority vote. And it's a good thing, too, because Republicans would then register as Democrats and skew the vote.

There is a reason the Democratic party is run this way. It may not be pretty but it may be necessary.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]Stop looking for heroes. BE one.[/center][/font][hr]

CentralMass

(15,265 posts)
50. Let's look at New Hampshire
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:45 PM
Feb 2016

Hillary won 38% of the popular vote but received 6 of the 8 superdelegates (that's 75%).

Further below is a description of who these 6 superdelegates are. They are lobbyists with ties to the z Clinton campaign.

Nothing wrong here ....

https://theintercept.com/2016/02/17/voters-be-damned/
Lobbyists are not only staffing and financing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, they’re also tipping the nomination process in her favor by serving as so-called “superdelegates” to the Democratic National Convention.

Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic primary by more than 22 percentage points and by doing so, earned 15 delegates to Clinton’s 9. So it came as a shock to many observers when Clinton, despite losing the second biggest rout in state history, walked away with the same number of delegates.

That’s because Clinton had the support of six New Hampshire unpledged delegates — better known as “superdelegates” — consisting of prominent elected officials and members of the Democratic National Committee, who have the same power as the delegates chosen by voters. An Associated Press survey found that superdelegates nationally overwhelmingly supported Clinton.

There are 712 superdelegates in all, which is about 15 percent of the total delegates available and 30 percent of the total needed to win the nomination. If the nomination process is close, superdelegates may effectively pick the party’s presidential nominee, potentially overriding the will of voters.

The following individuals are unelected, Clinton-supporting superdelegates who simultaneously work in the lobbying industry:

Jeff Berman, well-known for his delegate-strategy work in the past, is being paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign to organize her delegate-counting effort while himself being a superdelegate. A “top lobbyist” at Bryan Cave LLP, Berman previously worked as a lobbyist for the private prison company Geo Group and as a lobbyist helping TransCanada build support for the Keystone XL.
Bill Shaheen is one of the six New Hampshire superdelegates to endorse Clinton. Shaheen is a prolific party fundraiser, and his law firm is registered to lobby local officials in the state. The most recently available lobbying records show that Shaheen’s firm is registered to lobby on behalf of the American Council of Life Insurers and PainCare Centers, among other clients. PainCare has faced increasingly scrutiny as local officials have noted that eight of the 10 most prolific opioid prescribers in New Hampshire’s Medicaid program worked for PainCare. The flood of prescription painkillers has fueled the heroin epidemic in the region, as four out of five heroin addicts report beginning their drug habit with opioids. Bill is the husband of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.
Joanne Dowdell, another New Hampshire superdelegate, is the senior vice president for global government affairs at News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News. Federal Election Commission reports show Dowdell has contributed directly to multiple Democrats as well as to the News Corp PAC, a company committee that splits its donations between lawmakers of both parties. The News Corp government affairs division works to lobby public officials and regulators.
Superdelegates Jill Alper, Minyon Moore and Maria Cardona are officials at Dewey Square Group, a lobbying firm that is closely affiliated with the Clinton campaign and retained by the Clinton-supporting Super PACs Priorities USA Action and Correct the Record. Alper and Moore are Clinton advisers who have raised over $100,000 for her campaign. Dewey Square Group, as we’ve reported, was retained by the health insurance industry to undermine health reform efforts in 2009, including proposals to change Medicare Advantage. The firm has previously worked to influence policy on behalf of Enron, Countrywide, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, the U.S. Telecom Association and News Corporation.
Jennifer Cunningham is the managing director of SKDKnickerbocker, a political consulting firm that provides a variety of services, including advertising and direct lobbying of public officials. In recent years, SKDKnickerbocker helped a coalition of corporate clients lobby the Obama administration on a tax cut for overseas earnings; lobby for weakened rules governing for-profit colleges; and helped a food industry group undermine Michelle Obama’s nutrition guidelines for foods marketed to children. Recent records show that the firm is providing consulting work for Independence USA PAC, the SuperPAC backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
Tonio Burgos, a fundraiser for Clinton, is a lobbyist registered to influence New York City officials. Burgos’ current client list includes Verizon, Pfizer, and American Airlines.
Emily Giske, also a lobbyist in New York City, is registered to work on behalf of AirBnB, Yum Brands (the parent company of Taco Bell), Pfizer, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a trade group for Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, and Bank of America."

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
54. WELCOME TO THIS THREAD, CentralMass
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 04:54 PM
Feb 2016

I was reading down that list AND I HAD NO IDEA. I don't even know how to respond to that because I cannot say what I am thinking....

Unbelievable.

Thank you so much for this list. I hope you hang around here for some time. I am going to go back and reread that list.

Sam

Stallion

(6,480 posts)
77. According to Wikipedia Super Delagates Include State Elected Officials-Gov, Senator and Representa
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 10:49 PM
Feb 2016

Joanne Dowdell NH DNC[90] Clinton[90]
Maggie Hassan NH Gov. Clinton[3]
Ann Kuster NH Rep. Clinton[3]
Billy Shaheen NH DNC[90] Clinton[90]
Jeanne Shaheen NH Sen. Clinton[3]
Kathy Sullivan NH DNC[90] Clinton[90

Obviously, 99% of elected officials across the Country don't want to run on a ticket with a Social Democrat at the Top of the Ticket because that would be suicide

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Democratic_Party_superdelegates,_2016

 

NobodyHere

(2,810 posts)
56. Unconstitutional?
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 05:02 PM
Feb 2016

No, the Democratic party has the right to run it's nominating process however it wants.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
60. It is obvious the Democratic party runs the process as it wants
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 05:15 PM
Feb 2016

Are you saying there is no room for it to violate any tenet of our Federal election laws or our Constitution?

Just asking.

Sam

Oilwellian

(12,647 posts)
65. Here is what will happen if the SD's go rogue
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 06:31 PM
Feb 2016

and vote against the majority. I think it's a great write-up of the possible scenario that has never happened so far but could:

(snip)

Q: From everything you’ve told me so far, I can’t understand why you’re calling Superdelegate votes “irrelevant.” It seems to me like they have the same voting power as a normal delegate, and this puts Sanders in a tremendous hole from the word “go.”

A: Here’s why it doesn’t matter: Superdelegates have never decided a Democratic nomination. It would be insane, even by the corrupt standards of the Democratic National Committee, if a small group of party elites went against the will of the people to choose the presidential nominee.

This has already been an incredibly tense election, and Sanders voters are already expressing their unwillingness to vote for Clinton in the general election. When you look at the astounding numbers from Iowa and New Hampshire, where more than 80 percent of young voters have chosen Sanders over Clinton, regardless of gender, it’s clear that Clinton already finds herself in a very tenuous position for the general election. It will be tough to motivate young supporters, but any hint that Bernie was screwed by the establishment will result in total abandonment.

Democrats win when turnout is high, and if the DNC decides to go against the will of the people and force Clinton down the electorate’s throat, they’d be committing political suicide.

The important thing to know here is that Superdelegates are merely pledged to a candidate. We know who they support because they’ve stated it publicly, or been asked by journalists. They are not committed, and can change at any time. If Bernie Sanders wins the popular vote, he will be the nominee. End of story.

Q: But it’s not the end of the story, is it? Hasn’t the DNC pulled some shady shit already?

A: Oh yeah. They totally rigged the debate schedule to limit Sanders’ exposure, and now that he’s gaining ground on Clinton, they’re desperate to add more. Sanders probably won the popular vote in Iowa, but the party elite there are refusing to release popular vote totals, even though that’s exactly what they did in 2008. It’s been an embarrassment of Clinton protectionism from the very beginning.

However, that doesn’t mean they’ll overthrow the will of the people when it comes to the presidential nomination. Assuming Sanders wins the popular vote nationwide, and assuming the Superdelegates put Clinton over the top, let’s consider the consequences:

1. Sanders supporters abandon Clinton completely, cutting off a huge portion of her base.

2. Massive protests at the convention, and a party split in half.

3. Republicans have the easiest attack in presidential election history: “Her own party didn’t even want her!”

4. The perception that Clinton is a dishonest politician grows wings, and even if people are reluctant to vote for the GOP nominee, an independent like Bloomberg could strip away an awful lot of votes.

All of this spells disaster for the Democrats. It may not be too corrupt for the DNC to imagine—they’ve got good imaginations—but it’s too transparent to execute. The winner of the delegate count from state primaries and caucuses will win the nomination, and the Superdelegates will fall in line. Just as they have in every single election since the system was implemented. (Including in 2008, when this same concern was raised—would Superdelegates cost Obama the nomination?)

Even the Democratic power structure isn’t so short-sighted that it would cut off its nose to spite its face.

(Much more)
http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/02/after-sanders-big-win-in-new-hampshire-establishme.html


Samantha

(9,314 posts)
66. I would really like to believe Democrats would never do this (sincerely)
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 07:32 PM
Feb 2016

But in 2000, I never thought the Supreme Court would take on the 2000 election because it had zero Constitutional authority to decide a state's Presidential election, providing the state had its election law embedded in its state constitution and was following those rules. The Florida Supreme Court should have been the last word on this.

So I am pretty cynical about what really matters to politicians, and I think it is the "win at all costs" motto that followed George W. Bush*s campaign throughout. It is the money, the power, the hubris to drive some politicians to unethical heights. And they don't really care what the voters think, because we are nothing to them. The Congress has a decision to make, a public poll has been taken saying 70 percent of the American people want this, that or the other, but the Congress does what it wants to do, often in deference to the billionaire backing their campaigns and goes counter to the public's opinion.

I think you did a great job in posting this, and I am hoping that I am wrong to think Dems would never subvert the outcome of the popular vote in favor of an establishment candidate. And perhaps as a few people have said, this probably won't come up. We will have to wait and see.

Thank you so much for posting on my thread.

Sam

Oilwellian

(12,647 posts)
71. This happened in 2008 as well
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 09:19 PM
Feb 2016

Hillary attempted to convince 50 super delegates to stay with her so she could beat Obama. Obama won the popular vote so the super delegates turned and voted for him instead. The Clinton's play dirty, and I have no doubt they're pressuring their SD supporters to stick with Hillary, thick or thin. But at the end of the day, it would be political suicide for the party and we would never win the GE.

The article also mentioned, all of the super delegates from the House will be campaigning for their own reelection as well. A third of the Senate is as well. I highly doubt they would vote against the will of the people just months before they expect us to vote for them.

But I do share your uneasiness. I just saw a Grayson letter on Tumblr and he was asking who he should vote for as a super delegate.

http://alangraysonemails.tumblr.com/post/139502786856/bernie-sanders-or-hillary-clinton-talk-to-me

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
72. I appreciate this information but did you see the list of superdelegates?
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 09:32 PM
Feb 2016

It is jaw-dropping because many of them are lobbyists or officials of large entities. I think it is post 50 entitled "Let's Look at New Hampshire."

It is hard to shock me -- I have followed politics for decades. But I could not believe my eyes.

I think I read Harry Reid asked him to withdraw from that race, so Grayson is probably trying to gin up good will among voters -- as is his right.

Thank you so much for posting on my thread.

Sam

Oilwellian

(12,647 posts)
75. I did see the list
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 09:50 PM
Feb 2016

If they go against the will of the people, we will lose the GE. It really is as simple as that.

They're trying to bully us and we can't let them get away with it. Thank YOU for helping in this fight.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
68. That thought occurred to me
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 08:49 PM
Feb 2016

Seriously though, when I read that post above listing all the lobbyists who have become superdelegates, it soon became apparent WHY WE WILL NEVER HAVE SINGLE PAYER! Take a look at the list a few posts up -- its incredible!*

A number of people on this thread have said it won't come down to the superdelegates deciding this primary, so I am hoping they are correct. In politics though, you have to be ready for anything, right?

Thanks for posting here.

Sam

*CentralMass: Let's take a look at New Hampshire.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
85. So you can confidently say things such as brokered conventions and lobbyists becoming superdelegates
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 11:17 PM
Feb 2016

were reviewed? I dare to guess not too many Democratic Sanders supporters were aware of this and agree with it.

Sam

Empowerer

(3,900 posts)
81. The Constitution does not govern the primary process - and primary voters have no Constitutional
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 11:05 PM
Feb 2016

right to directly select their nominees. The Constitution is completely silent on party nominations - and, in fact doesn't mention parties at all.

The one-person one-vote concept does not guarantee that each person has a right to select a particular nominee. The entire nominations process is based on voters voting for delegates - it is not a direct vote. Yes, each person who votes has a right to have their vote counted. But if the voting process is for voters to select delegates for particular candidates, and they are permitted to do so and their vote is counted, there is no constitutional violation.

There is no constitutional bar to parties determining how it will select and seat delegates at their own party nominating conventions. The parties could, if they wanted to, decide that delegates would be selected by lottery or musical chairs or a drinking contest or by Puxatawny Phil. Instead, they have opted for a combination of primaries, caucuses and super delegates. All constitutionally permissible.

I think Lawrence Tribe would say that the delegate selection process, including super delegates, is perfectly constitutional.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
95. I know of at least one Court that would disagree with your premise
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 04:18 PM
Feb 2016
Facts. The Defendant is a very successful Texas political organization that operated a lot like a political party. The Defendant’s members are all white. The Defendant Association held pre-primaries and for more than fifty years, the Defendant’s county -wide candidates had invariably been nominated in the Democratic primaries and elected to office. The President of the Defendant Association admitted that the purpose of the party was to exclude blacks from voting and to escape the Fifteenth Amendment’s command that everyone could vote, regardless of race. The Defendant argues that its association is a private club because it was not governed by state laws and did not utilize state elective machinery or funds. Moreover, the Defendant argued that the Fifteenth Amendment constitutional challenge does not apply to their “self-governing voluntary club.” The Plaintiffs, a group of Negro voters (Plaintiffs), brought a class action to determine their rights under the Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution.


Issue. Does a private, successful, political association have to follow the Fifteenth Amendment?


Held. Yes, a private organizations primary election constitutes a public function.


Discussion. For a state to allow what the Defendant wants is to defeat the purpose of the Fifteenth Amendment. It is immaterial that the State does not control the Defendant Association because their candidates are always successful. The Defendant’s primary is the only part of the election that determines who governs the county, which strips blacks of their right to vote for elected officials if they cannot join.


http://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/constitutional-law/constitutional-law-keyed-to-chemerinsky/the-structure-of-the-constitutions-protection-of-civil-rights-and-civil-liberties/terry-v-adams/2/

Citation: 345 U.S. 461, 73 S. Ct. 809, 97 L. Ed. 1152, 1953 U.S.

I do realize there are small political parties that choose a candidate, and rather than entering under the umbrella of either the Democatic Party or Republican Party, it chooses to be self-contained, gathering signatures to put candidates on ballots or perhaps encouraging voters write-in their candidate. These parties have been classified as private entities and often have no problems with their process until and unless voters' civil rights be violated under The U.S. Constitution, a Federal law or a state constitutional provision.

This being said, I would like to volunteer my own personal opinion. Elections should not be charades.When you say primary voters have no constitutional rights to directly select their nominees, most ordinary people believe when they go to the polls and select a name of a candidate to receive their vote, they are participating in directly selecting that candidate. If they follow the process a little further, they learn when the votes are tallied, the political affiliation of the committed electors are chosen by the results of the votes.

If people wholesale realized that commitment only was good through the first balloting round at a political convention, they would be furious. Political deals and maneuvers like brokered conventions are a sham. This has got to change.

And for superdelegates to be waived into the process as representatives of corporate entities or wealthy donors is appalling beyond belief.

Yes, the political parties do run the conventions but if it becomes clear that the will of the people is superseded at these events in favor of corporate preferences and the uber-wealthy, members from that party will exit en masse, and that very large party will become nothing but a fly on the wall.

I am done with this.

Sam

wildeyed

(11,243 posts)
108. That's a civil rights issue.
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 09:38 PM
Feb 2016

Show me where the Democratic Party is rigging elections to exclude blacks or any protected class.

Don't like the way the party picks a candidate? Then get involved and do the work that needs to be done to change that. Right now this all sounds like a bunch of sour grapes from people who suddenly realize their candidate is losing and didn't take time to get educated about the process ahead of time.

Here is a free tip: Figure out which laws the two parties set up to make it difficult for third party candidates to run. Look into Instant Runoff Voting too. Those lines of inquiry will yield much better results for what you are pissed about than making silly assertions about how political parties must take care of business.

Don't say I never did anything you any favors.....

 

Sheepshank

(12,504 posts)
82. And you are entitled to your honest opinion.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 11:06 PM
Feb 2016

I have been educated about the delegate process and system. US politics is completely fascinating

One day, it's my honest opinion, that delegates and electoral colleges will be a thing of the past. Until then, I'm pretty sure it's Constitutional, despite your honest opinion.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
96. It is not just my opinion, Sheepshank, it is the opinion of many, many people
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 04:21 PM
Feb 2016

Welcome to my thread, and if you are interested you might want to read my last post quoting a case on this subject.

Sam

 

Sheepshank

(12,504 posts)
98. then they all have honest, but low fact based constitutional law, opinions on this matter
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 04:27 PM
Feb 2016

............and many others have just as many opinions that it's all very constitutional.

Frankly, reading through this thread, I think you have been provided with many examples, explanations and scenarios, and you are simply digging in your heels because you think your opinion is the be all end off of this discussion. I tried to posit that opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, but you failed to catch the drift.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
104. Many people who share my opinion are easily located with a simple Google search
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 04:56 PM
Feb 2016

There are people from all walks of life, people in politics, court cases, lawyers and judges. There is one case cited below which directly relates to the core of this subject.

Sam

 

Yog-Sothoth

(29 posts)
84. If you have been thinking and believe it is unconstitutional...
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 11:09 PM
Feb 2016

...then you obviously haven't been thinking about it very clearly. Who the DNC nominates isn't part of our Constitution.

If Sanders had any resolve or true ability he wouldn't be running as a fraud pretending to be a Democrat. He'd be running as the Independent which he actually is and has been his entire career. However Sanders chose to run as a Democrat in order to get their resources and organization. He has absolutely no room for complaint about superdelegates. None.

Superdelegates were designed in part to protect the party and country against radicals like Sanders.

There isn't any reason to believe that one way or the other it will come down to a count of superdelegates...

However if Clinton wins by one superdelegate then every superdelegate who voted for her would have made the right choice along with every other voter in this election.

Sanders's economic, trade, foreign policies...all unacceptable. Overly simplistic. Not well thought out.

He is a con artist like Trump.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
97. You have a lot of factual mistakes in your post, not to mention pure insults
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 04:24 PM
Feb 2016

so I will not respond to your assertions.

Sam

 

Codeine

(25,586 posts)
88. Well your HO is wrong.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 11:27 PM
Feb 2016

No party has a constitutional obligation to hold a primary election process to choose their candidate. It's entirely legal for a party to simply announce their candidate and be done with it, and many smaller parties do precisely that.

Besides that,the likelihood of the pledged delegate margin being overridden by superdelegates is exactly zero anyway.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
89. Yes, I know small parties just announce their one candidate
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 01:47 AM
Feb 2016

but if a large party did just that, it would not be too long until it too would be a small party.

from the OP:

Up to a point, a political party is master of its own house. But no party, or group within a party, can legally tamper with primary results. In Terry v. Adams (1953), the Court ruled against the "Jay Bird Association," a group of powerful white Democrats who tried to create a private enforcement process within the Democratic primary. Justice Clark ruled that "any part of the machinery for choosing officials becomes subject to the Constitution's restraints."


(from the commondreams link cited above)

Whenever a LARGE stake of influence, power and money in these United States is at risk to people with resources, I do not think superdelegates overriding the results of the election is out of the question. And now that we have learned some of these people are just lobbyists, that reinforces the the need to question.

Stand out in the middle of the road, flip a coin, no problem. If a party holds a primary election using the resources of the state, that makes that primary subject to the laws of the Federal government as well as the Constitution.

Sam

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
99. I don't have a problem with anything you say
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 04:27 PM
Feb 2016

Smaller "parties" often do just that, but the Republican and Democratic parties have a more complicated system in place.

And I do hope the superdelegates are not a problem in this election, but after Election 2000, the 2004 election as well, nothing in politics surprises me any more.

Thanks for posting on my thread.

Sam

 

Warren Stupidity

(48,181 posts)
94. There is no constitutional basis for the primaries, for parties, for the whole fake rigged game.
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 08:47 AM
Feb 2016

These private associations can run their games anyway they want.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
100. I think your title is essentially correct since the Constitution delegates the rights to conduct
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 04:39 PM
Feb 2016

Presidential elections to the states, provided each one sets out its rules in its state constitution.

I do think private associations believe they can run their parties anyway they would like, and they certainly want voters to think they can. This is a canard and some of them have found this out through Justice Department Investigations and through the courts.

Thanks for posting on my thread.

Sam

 

Warren Stupidity

(48,181 posts)
107. Article 2 Clause 2 and 3 are not your friends.
Thu Feb 18, 2016, 08:35 PM
Feb 2016

Clause 2


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: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

Clause 3

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse [sic] by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse [sic] the President. But in chusing [sic] 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. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse [sic] from them by Ballot the Vice President.

Clause 3 was redefined by the 12th amendment as follows:

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.

The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.

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. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.



That is the constitutional process for electing the president. Note that it says nothing about anyone other than "electors" voting. No requirement that any people need vote at all, let alone any regulation at all of political parties.

If you think there is a constitutional basis for political parties, presidential primaries, and the regulation of political parties, feel free to post the text of the constitution that applies.

Freddie Stubbs

(29,853 posts)
109. The existence of superdelegates does not "tamper with primary results"
Thu Mar 10, 2016, 10:53 AM
Mar 2016

The primaries and caucuses elect pledged delegates. It does not affect those delegates.

Latest Discussions»Retired Forums»2016 Postmortem»Superdelegates offsetting...