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Supreme Court says states can punish Electoral College voter

 
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pilight



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 10:10 am    ::: Supreme Court says states can punish Electoral College voter Reply Reply with quote

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/06/politics/faithless-electors-supreme-court/index.html

Quote:
The Supreme Court said Monday that states can punish members of the Electoral College who fail to fulfill a pledge to vote for a state's popular vote winner in presidential elections.


The electoral college is now completely pointless



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PUmatty



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 11:12 am    ::: Re: Supreme Court says states can punish Electoral College v Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/06/politics/faithless-electors-supreme-court/index.html

Quote:
The Supreme Court said Monday that states can punish members of the Electoral College who fail to fulfill a pledge to vote for a state's popular vote winner in presidential elections.


The electoral college is now completely pointless


It still functions to overturn majority vote, which is the point for many today.


GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 11:59 am    ::: Re: Supreme Court says states can punish Electoral College v Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/06/politics/faithless-electors-supreme-court/index.html

Quote:
The Supreme Court said Monday that states can punish members of the Electoral College who fail to fulfill a pledge to vote for a state's popular vote winner in presidential elections.


The electoral college is now completely pointless


Why would you say that? As I read the unanimous decision, it simply preserves the historical purpose and practice of the electoral college -- the status quo.

Here, hyperbolically, was position that the Supreme Court struck down. Suppose everyone in the country voted for Adam for president. Thus, Adam has won every single electoral vote and every single popular vote. However, for some reason, 270 or more of the 538 electors decide to go rogue and vote for Eve for president. The result is that 270 people have cancelled the unanimous vote of every voter in the U.S. The petitioners in the case argued that this scenario of elector free voting choice is not only constitutionally valid, but required.

To prevent such a scenario, all states have enacted different ways to punish such faithless electors. This issue in the case was whether those state punishment laws are constitutionally valid. The Supreme Court unanimously said yes, thereby preserving the historical function of the electoral college against rogue or faithless electors.

The electoral college will function the same way after this decision as it historically has.
pilight



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 12:10 pm    ::: Re: Supreme Court says states can punish Electoral College v Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
pilight wrote:

The electoral college is now completely pointless


Why would you say that? As I read the unanimous decision, it simply preserves the historical purpose and practice of the electoral college -- the status quo.


The point was supposedly to be a check against the public electing someone unqualified, but with a talent for "low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity". With the electors no longer having the ability to go against the popular vote, that purpose is moot.



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GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 12:29 pm    ::: Re: Supreme Court says states can punish Electoral College v Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
pilight wrote:

The electoral college is now completely pointless


Why would you say that? As I read the unanimous decision, it simply preserves the historical purpose and practice of the electoral college -- the status quo.


The point was supposedly to be a check against the public electing someone unqualified, but with a talent for "low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity". With the electors no longer having the ability to go against the popular vote, that purpose is moot.


The electors never have had that ability in practice in all of American constitutional history. That's what the Supreme Court just decided. That elecors ever had, or now have, such an ability was an absurd theory of Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, who manufactured this faithless elector case to test his theory, who argued it, and who lost unanimously.


Last edited by GlennMacGrady on 07/06/20 12:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
pilight



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 12:35 pm    ::: Re: Supreme Court says states can punish Electoral College v Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
pilight wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
pilight wrote:

The electoral college is now completely pointless


Why would you say that? As I read the unanimous decision, it simply preserves the historical purpose and practice of the electoral college -- the status quo.


The point was supposedly to be a check against the public electing someone unqualified, but with a talent for "low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity". With the electors no longer having the ability to go against the popular vote, that purpose is moot.


The electors never had that ability in practice in all of American constitutional history. That's what the Supreme Court just decided. That they ever had, or now have, such an ability was an absurd theory of Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, who manufactured this faithless elector case to test his theory, who argued it, and who lost unanimously.


So you're saying it's always been pointless



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GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 12:55 pm    ::: Re: Supreme Court says states can punish Electoral College v Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
pilight wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
pilight wrote:

The electoral college is now completely pointless


Why would you say that? As I read the unanimous decision, it simply preserves the historical purpose and practice of the electoral college -- the status quo.


The point was supposedly to be a check against the public electing someone unqualified, but with a talent for "low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity". With the electors no longer having the ability to go against the popular vote, that purpose is moot.


The electors never had that ability in practice in all of American constitutional history. That's what the Supreme Court just decided. That they ever had, or now have, such an ability was an absurd theory of Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, who manufactured this faithless elector case to test his theory, who argued it, and who lost unanimously.


So you're saying it's always been pointless


No. I'm saying that the pointlessness or pointfullness of the electoral college is not affected by this decision. The practice of electors will remain the same as it always historically has been -- that they must follow state vote pledge laws -- and hence the electoral college will function the same as it always has. Pointlessly or pointfully.
Hawkeye



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 2:47 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

When a candidate can win the presidency (exactly 270 votes) by winning just 12 states, the electoral college is pointless.


justintyme



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 7:42 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

This basically goes down as a "no shit" ruling. Outside of the mind of Lessig and some other thought experiment academics, this was pretty much a foregone conclusion


What was interesting is the "add-ons" that the decision threw in there. For instance, on writing for the majority, Kagan put some limits on what the states could do. One of those being that the states cannot set "new requirements on presidential candidates” that “conflict with the Presidential Qualifications Clause”. So all those "release your tax returns or be kept off the ballot laws"? Even the liberal bloc just signaled they are unconstitutional.

The ruling was also broad enough that it makes it highly likely that the National Popular Vote Compact is constitutional. Their ruling said, in no uncertain terms, that the distribution of a state's electoral votes falls entirely under the purview of the state and they can do as they see fit. So if a state wishes to make all of their electors vote for the winner of the national popular vote, they can do that. So for the people that want to see the end of the EC, 74 more electoral votes need to join up.



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PUmatty



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 8:40 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:
This basically goes down as a "no shit" ruling. Outside of the mind of Lessig and some other thought experiment academics, this was pretty much a foregone conclusion


What was interesting is the "add-ons" that the decision threw in there. For instance, on writing for the majority, Kagan put some limits on what the states could do. One of those being that the states cannot set "new requirements on presidential candidates” that “conflict with the Presidential Qualifications Clause”. So all those "release your tax returns or be kept off the ballot laws"? Even the liberal bloc just signaled they are unconstitutional.

The ruling was also broad enough that it makes it highly likely that the National Popular Vote Compact is constitutional. Their ruling said, in no uncertain terms, that the distribution of a state's electoral votes falls entirely under the purview of the state and they can do as they see fit. So if a state wishes to make all of their electors vote for the winner of the national popular vote, they can do that. So for the people that want to see the end of the EC, 74 more electoral votes need to join up.


That would also suggest a state could, say, force their electors to vote for the candidate in the same party as the governor.


GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 9:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:
This basically goes down as a "no shit" ruling. Outside of the mind of Lessig and some other thought experiment academics, this was pretty much a foregone conclusion


What was interesting is the "add-ons" that the decision threw in there. For instance, on writing for the majority, Kagan put some limits on what the states could do. One of those being that the states cannot set "new requirements on presidential candidates” that “conflict with the Presidential Qualifications Clause”. So all those "release your tax returns or be kept off the ballot laws"? Even the liberal bloc just signaled they are unconstitutional.

The ruling was also broad enough that it makes it highly likely that the National Popular Vote Compact is constitutional. Their ruling said, in no uncertain terms, that the distribution of a state's electoral votes falls entirely under the purview of the state and they can do as they see fit. So if a state wishes to make all of their electors vote for the winner of the national popular vote, they can do that. So for the people that want to see the end of the EC, 74 more electoral votes need to join up.


You raise very interesting points that likely will be litigated.

I agree that things like tax return requirements would be unconstitutional under the Presidential Qualifications Clause.

The NPVC, if enacted, would be challenged on many constitutional grounds other than power of states under the Electoral Appointment Clause. In particular, the NPVC would be challenged under the Compact Clause (Art. I, sec.10, cl. 3), the Guarantee Clause (Art. IV, sec. 4), the Equal Protection Clause for various reasons, the 12th Amendment, and possibly the Voting Rights Act 1965 for possibly diluting the voting rights of minorities. I don't have enough background on all these possibilities to venture a prediction on the ultimate constitutionality of the NPVC. But I agree that today's elector decision is a bit of a help to the pro-NPVC argument.
pilight



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PostPosted: 07/06/20 9:08 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PUmatty wrote:
That would also suggest a state could, say, force their electors to vote for the candidate in the same party as the governor.


South Carolina didn't have popular voting in presidential elections until 1868. Prior to that the state legislature decided which candidate got the state's electoral votes.



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