The Supreme Court has agreed to address a challenge to the Electoral College - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2020, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Default The Supreme Court has agreed to address a challenge to the Electoral College

January 18, 2020
The Supreme Court has agreed to address a challenge to the Electoral College
By Andrea Widburg
In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Donald Trump, however, won the Electoral College by focusing on all states, not just the most populous ones. Since then, Democrats have been bent on destroying the Electoral College by any means short of a constitutional amendment. The Supreme Court has now agreed to take up one of Democrats' attacks on the Electoral College.

The Founders created the Electoral College via Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 in the Constitution. Its purpose reflects the fact that America is not a direct democracy but is, instead, a representative democracy. The Electoral College is one of the many layers the Founders put between the government and the possible madness of the mob.

Before the 17th Amendment, senators were originally meant to be elected by state legislatures, putting them at a remove from voters. The president nominates judges, and the Senate votes on them. Only representatives come to D.C. via direct democracy — and the Senate tempers their initiatives (including impeachment), again protecting against voters' passions of the moment.

In addition to blocking mob rule, the Electoral College has another, extremely important, perhaps even more important, purpose: it ensures that presidents cannot campaign only in large population centers, pandering to the preferences of those centers, while ignoring the rest of the United States.

Without the Electoral College, presidential candidates would only campaign in, and shape their policies for, New York (Leftist), California (Leftist), Illinois (Leftist), Texas (generally conservative, but with its population centers rapidly going Left), Florida (a swing state, hewing Left because of northeastern snowbirds), Ohio (another swing state), Washington state (Leftist), Colorado (Leftist), and Massachusetts (Leftist). They would ignore the rest of America.

The Electoral College stands as a bright line between an Executive who must campaign in all of the states, taking note of the needs and values of all Americans, and an Executive who can govern to the left of Bernie Sanders after getting votes from a handful of states. No wonder Democrats hate the Electoral College.

One of the challenges to the Electoral College is the "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact." The 15 states (plus D.C.) that have already agreed to that compact want to ignore their citizens' votes and, instead, assign their electoral votes to the candidate with the most national popular votes.

In the short term, immediately after President Trump won the Electoral College, Democrats began to bully Democrat and NeverTrump electors in states Trump won, demanding that they vote for Hillary to protect America from the insanity of Trump voters. Those who, out of "principle" or fear, switched their votes came to be called "faithless electors." Prof. William Jacobson described the faithless elector movement as "nothing short of an attempt to steal the election."

Thirty-two states have laws mandating that electors cast their votes consistent with the will of the state's voters. Washington and Colorado are among that number and, in cases arising out of faithless electors, it is their laws that the Supreme Court is going to address. William Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell, has weighed in on the issue:

I don't know enough about the legal issues to opine — I have some reading up to do.

But the politics are clear. This may be the single most important case this year. If the Supreme Court rules that electors can be faithless, then there is going to be mayhem in 2020 when Trump wins again. Those who sought to intimidate and bully electors in 2016 were largely viewed as being out of bounds.

But if given a legal green light, there's no telling how much damage could be done to the stability of the nation if the electoral counts is close and bullying a small number of electors to go faithless swings the Electoral College to Democrats.

Perhaps because I'm less informed than Prof. Jacobson, I am willing to opine on the matter: one of the Founders wanted to ensure that voters in each state had a say in electing the president. Any attempt to warp the Electoral College into a vehicle for enacting the national popular vote is antithetical to that purpose.

It's true that the Founders also wanted to protect against mob passions, but one has to ask: in 2016, was the mob the people who politely voted for a candidate who was consistent with American norms before 2008, or was the mob the people who took to the street after the election, threatening to destroy American institutions if their demands were not met? Moreover, would the Founders side with the existential screamers if that meant erasing the voters of most American states?

Ultimately, those Leftists who want to destroy the Electoral College still can, but they must do so via the constitutional amendment process.

“All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.”
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2020, 03:10 PM
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The big question about this is why this wasn't a major news item. Threatening electors? Where was bob mueller on this one? Slacking off.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 01:12 PM
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The Supreme Court only needs to confirm that the Constitution can be changed, but only by means already memorialized. I would be fine with eliminating the actual "electoral college" and just allow that each state's election for the federal executive branch to be counted for the winner and the winner would get all of the state's electoral votes. The founders might have favored actual electors for some reason, but I'm not sure it is reason enough to allow the separate states to have the ability to distort the vote by allowing electors to vote as they please.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 02:34 PM
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Does anyone think that this current Supreme Court would change the electoral college at this point in time? I can't wrap my head around that taking place....but then I have been wrong before.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 05:20 PM
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Doesn't this whole electors debate center on States Rights? They decide how their states electors vote?
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