Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been ushering in more and more very conservative judges and justices to the various courts ever since Donald Trump took office. The decisions of those appointees have begun to change the face of the U.S. court system, and it has taken an uncomfortable turn.
States regulate whether or not electors must follow the popular vote when they are castng their votes in the presidential election. Colorado has followed the popular vote. The 10th District Court of Appeals just ruled that Colorado presidential electors do not have to back that candidate.
Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig just tweeted that the court found:
‘CRITICAL DECISION IN THE 10TH CIRCUIT, WITH AN EXTRAORDINARY OPINION FINDING STATES CANNOT CONTROL HOW PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS VOTE. THIS ISSUE (VIA A PARALLEL WASHINGTON STATE CASE) IS ON ITS WAY TO #SCOTUS. CA10.USCOURTS.GOV/OPINIONS/18/18 ‘
The decision could have significant consequences in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. This case will probably go on to the Supreme Court.
Secretary Hillary Clinton (D) won the state’s popular vote in the presidential election. One-third of Colorado’s nine electors attempted to vote for candidates other than Clinton.
One of the electors selected the former Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) so that Trump would not get the vote. He was removed, and that individual voted for Clinton. The other two electors wanted to follow suit but knew that their options were chosen Clinton or be replaced:
‘SECRETARY WILLIAMS IMPERMISSIBLY INTERFERED WITH MR. BACA’S EXERCISE OF HIS RIGHT TO VOTE AS A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTOR. SPECIFICALLY, SECRETARY WILLIAMS ACTED UNCONSTITUTIONALLY BY REMOVING MR. BACA AND NULLIFYING HIS VOTE FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE VOTE BINDING PROVISION.’
The appeals court ruled:
‘(THE CONSTITUTION GIVES) PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS THE RIGHT TO CAST A VOTE FOR PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT WITH DISCRETION. AND THE STATE DOES NOT POSSESS COUNTERVAILING AUTHORITY TO REMOVE AN ELECTOR AND TO CANCEL HIS VOTE IN RESPONSE TO THE EXERCISE OF THAT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT.’
Secretary of the State of Colorado Jena Grisworld (D) released a statement to The Colorado Sun, saying this decision “sets an extremely dangerous precedent:”
‘OUR NATION STANDS ON THE PRINCIPLE OF ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE. WE ARE REVIEWING THIS DECISION WITH OUR ATTORNEYS AND WILL VIGOROUSLY PROTECT COLORADO VOTERS.’
Lessig leads the group Equal Citizens and argued in front of the court on behalf of the three electors. He called the ruling as a “landmark opinion:”
‘WE KNOW ELECTORAL COLLEGE CONTESTS ARE GOING TO BE CLOSER IN THE FUTURE THAN THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE PAST; AND AS THEY GET CLOSER AND CLOSER, EVEN A SMALL NUMBER OF ELECTORS COULD CHANGE THE RESULTS OF AN ELECTION. WHETHER YOU THINK THAT’S A GOOD SYSTEM OR NOT, WE BELIEVE IT IS CRITICAL TO RESOLVE IT BEFORE IT WOULD DECIDE AN ELECTION.’
Twitter world went nuts. Check out these favorites:
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.