POLITICO is reporting that Donald Trump is arguing that a lawsuit brought by two Democratic electors in the state of Colorado could undermine the results of the election. Christopher Murray, representing the president-elect, made that argument before a District Court judge. In the filing, Murray argues that this lawsuit could undermine the integrity of the election.
‘It is little exaggeration … to say that this lawsuit threatens to impair the interests of the President-elect and the Campaign’
The lawsuit in question is being brought by Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich and aims to overturn state laws that require electors to cast their vote in accordance with their state’s popular vote. Colorado went to Hillary Clinton, but a favorable decision could allow electors in Republican states to vote for someone other than Trump.
Baca and Nemanich are leaders of a group known as Hamilton Electors. The group hopes to persuade Republican electors vote for someone other than Trump. It is not an attempt to nominate Clinton, but rather to find a Republican who can serve as a consensus candidate.
In the filing, Murray argues that Baca and Nemanich’s lawsuit was an attempt to undermine the will of the people.
‘Of course, President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence have more than enough electoral votes to secure their respective offices. Plaintiffs’ lawsuit, however, threatens to undermine the many laws in other states that sensibly bind their electors’ votes to represent the will of the citizens, undermining the Electoral College in the process. That is why the President-elect and his Campaign seek to intervene in this case.’
Earlier this month it was reported that Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman argued against the suit. The Republican Attorney General went so far as to call it an “affront” to democracy.
‘This Court should not countenance Plaintiffs’ attempt to dismantle the Electoral College from within. It should reject as an affront to this nation’s model of democracy this effort to disenfranchise millions of Coloradans by usurping their collective choice of candidates and replacing it with Plaintiffs’ own personal opinions about who is fit for the office of President. Holding otherwise would cause chaos.’
In her brief, Coffman further argued that because the Constitution grants states the power to bind electors to the popular vote because states are the ones that appoint electors in the first place so they are allowed to set restrictions.
‘Thus, because the States alone have the power to appoint their presidential electors, they necessarily possess the power to attach conditions to that appointment. Binding them to the outcome of the State’s popular vote is one such permissible condition’
One of the key arguments made by the Hamilton Electors comes from Federalist Papers #68 in which Alexander Hamilton argues that the Electoral College was meant to prevent the rise of unqualified demagogues and pawns of foreign powers. In a separate brief, the Colorado Republican Party rejects this argument by way of the 12th amendment.
‘Congress proposed and the States ratified the Twelfth Amendment with the understanding that electors are ministerial agents who represent their parties’ nominees, rather than platonic guardians who exercise independent judgment’
The U.S. District Court of Colorado is set to hear this case Monday afternoon though we don’t know how long the case will last.
Featured image via Getty Images.