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Justices to consider faithless electors, ahead of 2020 vote

Supreme Court to decide whether Electoral College voters are required to support the presidential candidate who wins state.

1/17/2020 11:57:00 PM

Supreme Court to decide whether Electoral College voters are required to support the presidential candidate who wins state.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Friday it will decide ahead of the 2020 election whether presidential electors are bound to support the popular vote winner in their states or can opt for...

January 17, 2020 GMTFILE - In this Nov. 11, 2019 file photo, a view of the Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court will decide whether Electoral College voters are required to support presidential candidate who wins state. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2019 file photo, a view of the Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court will decide whether Electoral College voters are required to support presidential candidate who wins state. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Friday it will decide ahead of the 2020 election whether presidential electors are bound to support the popular vote winner in their states or can opt for someone else.

Advocates for the court’s intervention say the issue needs urgent resolution in an era of intense political polarization and the prospect of a razor-thin margin in a presidential election, although so-called faithless electors have been a footnote so far in American history.

The justices will hear arguments in April and should issue a decision by late June.About 30 states require presidential electors to vote for the popular vote winner, and electors almost always do so anyway. Under the Constitution, the country elects the president indirectly, with voters choosing people who actually cast an Electoral College ballot for president. It takes 270 votes to win.

The case arises from the 2016 presidential election. Three Hillary Clinton electors in Washington state and one in Colorado refused to vote for her despite her popular vote win in both states. In so doing, they hopedto persuade enough electors in states won by Donald Trump

to choose someone else and deny Trump the presidency.The federal appeals court in Denver ruled that electors can vote as they please, rejecting arguments that they must choose the popular vote winner. In Washington, the state Supreme Court upheld a $1,000 fine against the three electors and rejected their claims.

In all, there were 10 faithless electors in 2016, including a fourth in Washington, a Democratic elector in Hawaii and two Republican electors in Texas. In addition, Democratic electors who said they would not vote for Clinton were replaced in Maine and Minnesota.

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In asking the Supreme Court to rule that states can require electors to vote for the state winner, Colorado urged the justices to decide the case in the next few months, “not in the heat of a close presidential election.”Colorado officials welcomed the court’s intervention. “Unelected and unaccountable presidential electors should not be allowed to decide the presidential election without regard to voters’ choices and state law,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said.

The three Washington electors, while contending they should be free to vote their conscience, also said the court should avoid the “dangerous possibility” of having to resolve the issue following the 2020 vote.“We are glad the Supreme Court has recognized the paramount importance of clearly determining the rules of the road for presidential electors for the upcoming election and all future elections,” Lawrence Lessig, the lawyer for the electors, said.

Read more: The Associated Press »

1 person, 1 vote. Counties, States, North, South, East, West mean nothing in a true democracy. Ah, the state plot to subvert the electoral college that I heard about. The court’s taking action? Groovy. They should completely abolish the electoral college, but this would at least be a start. The electoral college has become outdated and did not live up to the expectations of the men who made it. So why do we still have it. Simple those that get elected have no desire to change it because it worked for them.

If you truly want each state to be represented fairly, let each state count as 1 vote must win at least 26 states to win election Then every vote truly counts. If it goes to popular vote NY, California, Texas and Florida determine who wins each election. Deciding that the electors dont have to follow the vote of the state is about as anti-democratic of a move as I can think of. Right up there with Citizens United vs FEC

Ooh ooh! Lemme guess what the vote's gonna be🙋🏻‍♂️... Bound Electors are almost certainly unconstitutional. I look forward to the contortions in the ruling that disagrees with me. Wyoming gets 3 electoral votes for a population of 570,000, while Pennsylvania gets 20 electoral votes for a population of 12,800,000. If you do the math, each individual vote in PA is worth less than 30% of each vote in WY. Where's the equality in that?

If ANYONE doubts the prescience of the Framers in rejecting popular vote, of Thomas Jefferson warning about the 'tyranny of the majority', and the genius of Alexander Hamilton in conceiving of the Electoral College, just look at the zoo the House of Representatives has become! RachaelAHancock So why vote at all if they can just choose who they want? Our system is so damn corrupt.

Wouldn't it take an Amendment to the Constitution for this to happen, or am I that naive? Electoral college is outdated! Needs to be popular vote!! A positive ruling here would trash the whole compact idea that is threatening the constitutional system. Was it not the point of the EC that they be faithless in the first place? Was it not the point if the Founders that the Electors' votes are designed to protect us from ourselves? In other words, was the EC not designed to prevent majority rule when the majority got it wrong?

WAAAAH!My team lost the election,so lets change the rules.WAAAAAAH! The Electoral College doesn’t work like the Founders intended, but still works. And the design (weight of the votes) works exactly like they wanted. Fortunately, it would take an amendment to change it, and the smaller states have enough votes to stop that in its tracks.

This should be about the shortest decision ever. Wow this is sad, I'm Australian and I understand American civics better that most people replying here. This is one of those confusing cases. Technically, the electors have always been faithless. They can vote for whomever they want. The penalties for not following the will of the voters is very light.

States set the rules for their electors. They don't have to be based off of who wins the state. How did this get to the Supreme Court. Do people not understand that the senate still exists to give small state voters disproportionate sway over American politics if the electoral college was to be abolished?

Oddly when SenGillibrand tweeted this Twitter gray boxed it Liberals will drop the idea of going with the popular vote this year, when Trump wins the popular vote and all those liberals states are forced to give their votes to Trump. 'Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress'. If a state assembly wants to let CA pick Presidents, they can.

Fck the EC. When we help other nations set up a democracy, we don’t tell them to have an EC bc it’s absurd. OnePersonOneVote The President should be elected solely by the popular vote. No exceptions. Uhhhhhhh... Why is this even being questioned? Our state went for who ever, the electoral vote goes to that whoever!

My question is this in regards to close votes where it doesn't have to be winner take all? EC was a FF stopgap against the people electing an incompetent demagogue of low character. As such, it failed miserably in 2016. Also, FF probably never envisioned a disparity of state populations like say WY and NY both of whom wield the power of two senate votes.

We we are cool with the Constitution and the EC but now cool with the way the EC is designed? My guess would be the Supreme Court is going to reverse the Court of Appeals and let the fines stand for the faithless electors. If they were going to support the Appellate Court decision, they could have done so by refusing the case.

LMAO at everyone commenting without reading the article. This isn't a case to abolish the electoral college. It's about the Faithless Electors. If they are then what purpose do they serve? Is this a country of minority rule? This whole battle over the EC is so bizzare. HRC was a garbage candidate, you lost, get over it. Stop trying to redefine the rules of the game because you lost the game.

The single most important case SCOTUS will decide this year. Period. KTLA White boy stuff They vote on the popular vote of their state, that’s how it was set up to work. Well if they aren’t then I don’t know why we should even bother continuing to pretend like we live in a democracy, because that’s not what a democracy is if someone else is deciding who we vote for. The electoral college is barely democracy even if they pick who I voted for

Interesting how we're just now discovering the EC, and some of you didn't cry about it 20 years ago So many uneducated idiots in here who have zero clues as to why the Framers even established the electoral college in the first place. Unreal. The ignorance of separation of powers, in this age, of this country is frightening. We are a republic.

Removing the electoral college would most likely lead to a breakup of the United States. with 46 States losing their voice in the presidential election, at least one of those is going to want to succeed. I thought this was already decided. Here we go...stealing elections. Why even have elections then. Fuck the electoral college.

I hate it when my vote is stolen and used to support someone I didn’t vote for. The curroption inside the electoral college system is directly responsible for putting Trump in power. The law needs to change and they need to abolish the electoral system IntelCrab So this means that a state elector could violate a states wish and vote against is? How is that not more corruptable?

If you get rid of Electoral college, then you should also say it takes a 75% majority to win the presidency. 50.1% should not rule over the other 49.9%. This just creates voter apathy and even lower voter turn out... KTLA communist agenda isn't it? to tell you how you must vote KTLA great nothing like the FREEDOM to vote.

That just turns the prez rubber stamp into a mandatory rubber stamp. Right now there IS freedom in some states for EC delegates to NOT vote for the popular vote winner. LOL! 4 states should not be the deciding factor in our American elections. I hope not. Sick of electoral college. Should b one person one vote this is 2020. Enough with this electoral mindless voting machine that gave us Trumps

IntelCrab Why bother voting. Seriously what a joke of a suit. The electorate represents the votes in that state. They dont decide who wins. Our kids are watching people. Interessant ... men Supreme Court er utrolig politisk udnævnt og har et flertal af republikanere ... så sandsynligvis alligevel ikke interessant alligevel.

Broken ass system It is time to do away with the electoral college If they don’t then what’s the point of having the Electoral College? this would be amazing... EC shouldn't be eliminated, it should be reformed So, obama puts in daca, gives 11000000 illegals... when they voted in 2016, those voters were supposed to count for Hillary. If not for the obstruction, she would've lost both votes, even still at her level, she's not abrahms, she should8played the ec. She doesn't seem popular...

ter0424 Why would you vote this into law in the first place? Why disenfranchise yourself? I think the constitution doesn't require them to vote in any manor. My question would be; can the State Require them to vote winner takes all? Electoral college should be done away with. Should be based on popular vote like every other election.

Ohhh so hope so hope. That happened I'm my state, way shameful, when a person takes it upon themselves to do something against the millions who voted other wise stripping our right, our vote. A person who is in the positions to be the voice of its state people, Well wouldn't that make sense frez777 If this was law already Trump would have lost a lot of swing states voted opposite of the majority popular vote also gerrymandering was also uncovered.

Fuck EC KTLA Yes 'faithless electors have been a footnote so far in American history.' Yep. And the case will decide if they continue to be a footnote, or disappear altogether. Wow.🙄🙄 The irony of lefties that complain about gerrymandering trying to go around the Constitution is stunning. Nope they’re not

Of course they aren’t. There is no such thing as a vote without a choice. So my vote won't count? Just someone else deciding. Sounds like a perfect bribery scheme to me. IntelCrab WE 🇺🇸 do NOT NEED the ELECTORAL COLLEGE ! Why do we need actual electors? We all see who wins which state on election night. Tally up the numbers from each state and that's it. No need for an actual person to travel to the state capital and cast a ballot in person weeks after the state has already voted.

So an appointed body gets to decide whether our country is democratic republic or socialist oligarchy 🤔 They should be obligated to truly represent their states winner IntelCrab Spoiler Alert: yes, yes they do. They are not independent agents. If this isn't affirmed 9-0 then fuck it all to hell and just give Bernie and AOC the keys already and send me my free shit.

Dems trying to grab power any way they can even if it means destroying the country I like how you guys were so confident that trump wouldn’t get elected for 2nd term or be removed before he completes his 1st term but now on panic mode fearing he might get elected again . Lel What’s the point of voting? If the state doesn’t have EC voters that support the will of the people? Then your vote is meaningless. And Democrats can just stack each state w EC voters. Which is exactly what will happen.

I always thought it was clear that they weren't. They could have stopped Trump and should have. Later this year: Supreme Court to decide whether states can ignore their voters and award all electoral votes based on the national popular vote.

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