A U.S. Federal Court of Appeals determined that it’s unconstitutional to remove a “faithless elector” for not casting their vote for the presidential candidate that receives the most votes in Colorado.
Back in November of 2016, Michael Baca was elected as a delegate from Colorado to the Electoral College. But instead of voting for the candidate who won his state (Hillary Clinton) Baca voted for Kasich. Apparently Baca was attempting to be a part of a movement by some Electoral College delegates across the country to pull away enough votes from both Trump and Hillary so that the U.S. House of Representatives would have to decide the election; as outlined in the 12th amendment. Funny how that little plan hasn’t received much news coverage.
“We conclude the state’s removal of Mr. Baca and nullification of his vote were unconstitutional,” the appeals court said in its decision. “Article II and the Twelfth Amendment provide presidential electors the right to cast a vote for President and Vice President with discretion. And the state does not possess countervailing authority to remove an elector and to cancel his vote in response to the exercise of that Constitutional right.”
Many news outlets are reporting that the 10th Circuit decision undermines the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact scheme to end the Electoral College. If a state cannot require that its delegates vote in accordance with its own state’s popular vote, how can it require its delegates to vote in accordance with the nation’s popular vote? While that may be true, the NPV compact has a number of other constitutional problems; which we posted about earlier.
History indicated that the 10th Circuit made the correct call:
The opinion also noted that the first faithless elector vote happened in 1796, and that there have been 166 faithless electoral votes certified and counted.
“Indeed, we are aware of no instance in which Congress has failed to count (a faithless) vote, or in which a state—before Colorado—has attempted to remove an elector in the process of voting, or to nullify a faithless vote. And on only one occasion has Congress even debated whether (a faithless) vote should be counted,” the Court wrote in the majority opinion.
However, the decision exposes a weakness in your election process. It now seems possible that a conspiracy could convert enough electoral delegates to override the will of the people in multiple states and thus nullify the election. Some thought and effort needs to be given as to how to prevent electoral delegates from being swayed by a coordinated influence to change their vote from what the voters in their state actually want and expect. Scary stuff given how extreme the “orange man bad” mob have become. [Update: it appears I’m not the only one to think that way.]
Source: https://www.9news.com/article/news/local/local-politics/federal-appeals-court-rules-in-favor-of-colorados-faithless-electors/73-b117d07d-e34b-470b-888e-a26fc8f5afab [check out the accompanying video]