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Judiciary

SCOTUS Case Could Derail Effort to Negate Electoral College

Considering the constitutional questions of how state electors' votes are cast.

Thomas Gallatin · Jan. 20, 2020

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear cases that hold significant implications for the Electoral College and states’ rights. During the 2016 presidential election, four Electoral College electors, one from Colorado and three from Washington, cast votes for candidates who did not win their state’s popular vote. In Colorado, the elector cast a vote for John Kasich instead of Hillary Clinton, and in Washington, three electors cast their votes for Colin Powell rather than Clinton. Both the states of Colorado and Washington are among approximately 30 states that require Electoral College electors to cast their votes in concurrence with their respective state’s popular vote.

Following the votes of the so-called “faithless electors,” both states responded — Colorado voided the elector’s vote and Washington fined the electors. The electors responded by suing their respective states; the Colorado elector won, but the Washington state supreme court ruled against the electors and upheld the fine.

The question that SCOTUS will answer is whether state requirements mandating that electors cast their vote with a state’s popular vote is constitutional. The ramifications of the Court’s ruling could derail the Left’s effort to circumvent the Electoral College via the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC), the effort by several blue states to throw their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of the state’s popular vote. Ironically, 13 of the 16 states that have thus far joined the NPVIC movement have laws requiring EC electors to vote for their respective state’s popular-vote winner.

SCOTUS will likely hear the cases in April with a ruling expected in June, so this should be decided well before the 2020 election.

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