- Aug 24, 2016
Supreme Court to decide if ‘faithless electors’ can defy a state's presidential vote and pick another candidate
The Supreme Court will settle two more disputes this year: one over the electoral college and another involving contraceptives offered through employer health plans.
The Supreme Court agreed Friday to resolve an issue that could tip the outcome of a very close presidential election and decide whether electors have a right to defy their state’s choice for president by casting a vote for the candidate of their choice.
The justices agreed to review a surprising decision from the U.S. 10th Circuit Court last year which held that the electors established by the Constitution “have a right to make a choice” when they vote for president.
If the ruling stands, it could further transform the creaky electoral college system and inject a new element of suspense and surprise into presidential elections.
Under the little-understood electoral college system, when Americans cast their votes for president on Election Day, they are actually choosing a slate of electors who will, in turn, cast the state’s votes in January. Since the early 1800s, it has been understood that the chosen electors will cast their votes for the candidate who won the most votes in their state, making the January tally a mere formality.
But if electors have a “constitutional right” to pick someone else, the winner of a close presidential election could be in doubt for weeks after Election Day.
Electors in most states are required to take an oath to support the winning candidate, and many states have laws stating that so-called “faithless electors” will be removed and replaced if they fail to abide by their commitment.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said the 10th Circuit’s decision “takes power from Colorado voters and sets a dangerous precedent.” She appealed to the high court, which voted to review the case, Colorado Department of State vs. Baca. The court will also review a similar case from Washington, Chiafalo vs. Washington..
In most presidential elections, a handful of “faithless electors” seek to cast a protest vote, usually for a candidate who is not on the ballot. For the 2016 election, Micheal Baca was chosen as a Democratic elector in Colorado, but he chose to cast a vote for then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, even though Hillary Clinton won the majority of votes in Colorado. Colorado officials then removed him, discarded his vote and replaced him with an elector who cast her as directed.
Baca sued, alleging his removal violated the Constitution, which says the “electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for president.” He lost before a federal judge but won a 2-1 ruling in the 10th Circuit. The majority said the use of the terms “elector, vote and ballot have a common theme,” indicating that “the electors, once appointed, are free to vote as they choose.”
I knew about the fool Baca, who worked mostly Democrats on his case, but I didn't know he won until now.
This is a major deal because if this passes it means that the peoples vote doesn't matter and electors can choose who they want, or who they are told to vote for, at will.
In simple terms, an individual or an organization could put pressure on, or give an incentive an elector causing said elector to vote against who the people choose, For example, let's say in 2016 PA, MI, and WI had enough electors "persuaded" by the Clinton campaign to ignore the peoples vote for Trump in those states, and instead put in a ballot for Hillary Clinton. Under this law Hillary would win despite her losing in those states, and the consequence would be Hillary currently sitting in the oval office as President instead of Trump.
The fact the Supreme court accepted this case instead of turning against it is terrifying, and only makes me believe something isn't quite right. There's some bullshit going on that we don't know about and if this passes it will screw up every future election.. You can't even say both sides can use it because as we all know, the left has much greater access to finances than the GOP, and could easily "convince" several electors to choose another candidate.
This is fucking catastrophic and severely dangerous.