SCOTUS Upholds Binding Presidential Electors to the Popular Vote | Beaufort County Now | When Americans cast ballots for presidential candidates, their votes actually go toward selecting members of the Electoral College, whom each state appoints based on the popular returns. | beaufort observer, supreme court, uphold binding, presidential electors, popular vote, july 8, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

SCOTUS Upholds Binding Presidential Electors to the Popular Vote

    Chiafalo v. Washington

    Docket: 19-465

    Opinion Date: July 6, 2020

    Judge: Elena Kagan

    Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Election Law

    When Americans cast ballots for presidential candidates, their votes actually go toward selecting members of the Electoral College, whom each state appoints based on the popular returns. With limited exceptions, states appoint a slate of electors selected by the political party whose candidate has won the state's popular vote. Most states compel electors to pledge to support that party's nominee and remove a "faithless elector" from his position; a few impose a monetary fine on any elector who flouts his pledge. Three Washington electors violated their pledges to support Hillary Clinton in 2016 and were fined $1,000 apiece. The Electors challenged their fines, arguing that the Constitution gives members of the Electoral College the right to vote however they please. The Washington Supreme Court rejected their claims. The Supreme Court affirmed. A state may enforce an elector's pledge to support his party's nominee-and the state voters' choice-for President. Article II, Section 1 gives the states the authority to appoint electors "in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct." The power to appoint an elector includes the power to condition his appointment, including requiring that electors pledge to cast their Electoral College ballots for the party's presidential nominee. States can demand that an elector actually live up to that pledge, on pain of penalty. Nothing in the Constitution expressly prohibits states from taking away presidential electors' voting discretion. Article II's use of the term "electors" and the Twelfth Amendment's requirement that the electors "vote," "by ballot," do not establish that electors must have discretion. From the first elections under the Constitution, states sent electors to the College to vote for pre-selected candidates, rather than to use their own judgment. The electors rapidly settled into that non-discretionary role. Ratified at the start of the 19th century, the Twelfth Amendment acknowledged and facilitated the Electoral College's emergence as a mechanism not for deliberation but for party-line voting.

    Colorado Dept. of State v. Baca

    Docket: 19-518

    Opinion Date: July 6, 2020

    Judge: Per Curiam

    Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Election Law

    Reversing the Tenth Circuit, the Court held that states may impose a sanction on "faithless electors" who pledge to vote for the nominee of their political party in the presidential election and fail to do so. The Court cited its contemporaneous opinion, Chiafalo v. Washington.


HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Kevin Daley of the Washington Free Beacon highlights a campaign to punish two high-profile U.S. senators.
Sixty percent of battleground voters view Democrats’ latest effort to impeach President Donald Trump as another “waste of time and money” and are seeking an orderly transition of power, a leaked internal shows.
Another example of how the globalist Facebook uses its power to impose its political ideology
Come with us on Part II of Wolfman and The Guardians' journey through the streets of our nation's capitol. These stories are only available exclusively here at BCN!
In a year of bad actions by very bad people, this is by far the worst done to destroy this Constitutional Republic. Anyone telling you different is either a liar, a Stupid or those that truly hate our United States Constitution.
David Harsanyi writes for National Review Online about recent signs of Americans’ collective embrace of extreme political positions.

HbAD1

This man sets and example for us all
Naomi Lim of the Washington Examiner reports on special plans for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.
Less than a year after an audit of the N.C. Department of Transportation found massive overspending, a blue-ribbon panel is recommending the department get a 40% budget hike.
Today, America's second Fake Impeachment of Donald J. Trump, just days before he leaves office, may speak more about those Impeaching the President than he who is indicted.
For the last four years, Donald Trump kept back the tide. But now, it’s up to Congress.
In her fine opinion piece for the Martin Center, Megan Zogby bemoans the “Quixotic” requirement that North Carolina college and university students take between two and four courses in a language such as Spanish, French, or German.
Andrew McCarthy of National Review Online admits early in his latest column that he believes President Trump has “committed impeachable conduct.”

HbAD2

 
Back to Top