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Democrat Vinz Koller of California is the 10th Presidential elector to join the anti-Trump club, and is trying to overturn a law that will force him to cast his vote for Hillary Clinton because she won the popular vote in his state. A similar action was filed in Colorado days earlier.
The aim of the suit, Politico reports, is to undermine such rules in 29 states across the country, including in areas where Republican electors have voiced concerns about Mr Trump.
Mr Koller's lawsuit argues that the US founding fathers intended electors to have free choice in how they voted.
No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the Senate, or Member of the House of Representatives, Delegates or Commissioners from the Territories or possessions, at any general, special, or primary election held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting or electing any such candidate.
The constitutionality of state pledge laws was confirmed by the Supreme Court in 1952 in Ray v. Blair in a 5–2 vote. The court ruled states have the right to require electors to pledge to vote for the candidate whom their party supports, and the right to remove potential electors who refuse to pledge prior to the election. The court also wrote:
However, even if such promises of candidates for the electoral college are legally unenforceable because violative of an assumed constitutional freedom of the elector under the Constitution, Art. II, § 1, to vote as he may choose in the electoral college, it would not follow that the requirement of a pledge in the primary is unconstitutional (emphasis added).
The ruling only held that requiring a pledge, not a vote, was constitutional and Justice Jackson wrote in his dissent, "no one faithful to our history can deny that the plan originally contemplated what is implicit in its text – that electors would be free agents, to exercise an independent and nonpartisan judgment as to the men best qualified for the Nation's highest offices." More recent legal scholars believe "a state law that would thwart a federal elector’s discretion at an extraordinary time when it reasonably must be exercised would clearly violate Article II and the Twelfth Amendment."
The Supreme Court has never ruled on the constitutionality of state laws punishing electors for actually casting a faithless vote.
Vinz Koller of California is ........trying to overturn a law that will force him to cast his vote for Hillary Clinton because she won the popular vote in his state.
originally posted by: GreyScale
a reply to: Profusion
I don't think these people are thinking this through... they are just reacting to this particular situation. This is covered by the 10th Amendment. The states have the power to enforce their own laws as it pertains to their electors.
originally posted by: Profusion
If the courts decide that the state laws we're discussing are legally unenforceable, then the laws will no longer be an issue going forward.