Trump's Hail Mary - The Electoral College (1 Viewer)

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superchuck500

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After Trump lost the election, he pivoted to the "litigation strategy" which has failed by all objective measures. Barring some kind of intervention from the SCOTUS - not likely at this point and based on proceedings in the lower courts - it should truly be over, but Trump seems to have misperceived one last resort to remain in the White House.

Based on comments from Dr. Jenna Ellis, Esq. (no self-aware lawyer calls themselves this), the campaign is now making an "Article II" push to the state legislatures. So far, she and Rudy have presented to a hearing held by PA state Senate Republicans at a Wyndham hotel in Gettysburg, PA, and they are holding their own "public fact-finding hearings" in Arizona and perhaps Michigan, where state legislators are invited to attend.

It seems that the strategy is based on idea that under Article II, Section 1, "each state shall appoint its electors in such a manner that the (state) legislature may direct", state legislatures have a right, even after the election, to send electors that aren't the electors required under their own state election law (i.e. 48 states pledge by statute their electors on the result of the state's popular vote, winner take all -and then in Kansas and Maine by district vote, winner take all).

In other words, the Campaign believes that if it can convince these state legislatures that their elections were hopelessly flawed, they will fix it by acting to send their own slate of electors to vote for Trump - and this will comply with Article II, Section 1 (and the 12th Amendment that clarified the electoral process).

That's simply not how it works. As the Supreme Court has held, including with the June 2020 opinion in Chiafalo v. Washington, the state legislatures manifest their Article II responsibilities through enacting state election laws - at least where they choose to do so, and they all have chosen to do so (because this republic is based on democratic ideals). There is no basis for the idea that state legislatures can enact state election laws, including laws about the pledging of the state's electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in the state . . . and then change that result after the fact.

While it is true the some states have provisions that the legislature (or the Governor) can decide the electoral votes in the event that an election cannot be had or a proper election cannot be declared, this clearly does not bestow an arbitrary or even discretionary right to disregard the result of the popular vote that receives the state's electoral votes. Rather these rules allow for a contingency where a vote truly cannot be had (like literally), or where a result by vote is truly impossible due to some kind of situation. It doesn’t mean “we think this was flawed or fraudulent so we’re not gonna follow it” - the state legislatures don’t have the power to interpret whether their state’s vote should be disregarded unless they have given themselves that right before the election (none of them has).

The legislatures establish state election law. The state conducts the election in accordance with that law and the result of the certified popular vote determines the electors. The legislatures can prospectively change election law for future elections but they cannot re-engineer a state’s election law for elections already conducted. Barring a ruling from a court of competent jurisdiction that the result suffers from some legal defect, it is the result and the state’s electors must vote in accordance with it.

This doesn’t mean they won’t try it. I don’t think they (the state legislatures) actually will but if they did it’s almost certain to fail. The saddest part is that Trump is even endorsing this kind of challenge to our election institutions.
 
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Saintman2884

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We don't have to get rid of the electoral college to fix it, but we can't fix it with the attitude that we can't fix it and just have to live with it.

Defeatism always gets defeated.
But you see, that's the problem, in our hyper-polarized, political environment, even advocating "tweeking it" and presenting it with what you think are sound, rational arguments might be seen by GOP lawmakers or centrist Democrats as too close or similar-sounding to eliminating it, as some progressive Dems would prefer to do. Sometimes, acknowledging there are some battles you can just can't win because the odds, enormous factors working against your ideas, one chooses not to let his ideas or proposals die needlessly and its not defeatism to admit it, but common, practical political sense. How your ideas or proposals get shaped by what your allies or enemies perceive or describe it as and if they outmanuever you, you've lost the game, or at least half of it. Take "defend the police" argument recently about how badly-needed police reforms got drowned out by what conservatives and GOP lawmakers deemed were illogical, anti-police radical zealots and by selectively pointing out one of BLM's founders is an admitted, self-confessed Marxist.
If you're constantly trying to capture a large city who's garrison protecting it has 2-3x more men you have, better led and better-organized and have almost complete logistical advantages than you, it doesn't matter how well-intentioned or more righteous your cause is, if they keep kicking your arse and some one tells you victory is impossible irregardless of how much you revamp tactics, that's not defeatism, it's again rational common sense.
 

Saintman2884

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I'm just saying there's no political will to completely eliminate the EC...really by either side. But yeah, tweaking the system is definitely doable. More states doing split delegates and ranked choice voting are certainly viable in the near term. I do hope those come to pass.

Heck, I'd love to be able to vote from my computer at home. Idk if that's doable or how you establish a paper trail and validate votes, but I imagine experts can figure that out.
Sounds like a rational, seemingly doable proposal but again in our current political landscape, it's difficult to see even some modest tweaks of the EC because again, most GOP lawmakers and even centrist Dems who are all too aware of how Republicans like to manipulate and distort opposing aisles proposals out of context, will argue that reforming the EC would be a innocuous, subtle first step towards eventually phasing it out.

Honestly, it wouldn't be in GOPs best interests politically if they want to have realistic shot of winning presidential races if EC is tweaked or dumbed down to make it harder for them to win elections without winning majority of popular vote. When's the last time a GOP presidential candidate won both the popular vote and EC consecutively?
 

DaveXA

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Sounds like a rational, seemingly doable proposal but again in our current political landscape, it's difficult to see even some modest tweaks of the EC because again, most GOP lawmakers and even centrist Dems who are all too aware of how Republicans like to manipulate and distort opposing aisles proposals out of context, will argue that reforming the EC would be a innocuous, subtle first step towards eventually phasing it out.

Honestly, it wouldn't be in GOPs best interests politically if they want to have realistic shot of winning presidential races if EC is tweaked or dumbed down to make it harder for them to win elections without winning majority of popular vote. When's the last time a GOP presidential candidate won both the popular vote and EC consecutively?
Pretty sure Bush won the popular vote for his second term when he ran against Kerry. So 2004 isn't all that long ago in terms of history.
 

The moose

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Pretty sure Bush won the popular vote for his second term when he ran against Kerry. So 2004 isn't all that long ago in terms of history.

Yeah that was also greatly helped by 9/11.

At the time the nation was kinda thinking we actually we're trying to get those responsible.

Hindsight not so much just a big money grab and tons of national debt.

That is truly the sad thing about this idiot in office he was given the devil to fight for a easy win. Just follow the playbook for an easy win. This idiot chose to fight the democrats rather than the virus.
 

LA - L.A.

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But you see ... that's not defeatism, it's again rational common sense.
I've never seen someone put so much effort into encouraging people to have a defeatist attitude and that it's the only attitude that makes "rational common sense."

Why would anyone try so hard to persuade others not to even waste their time trying to make our elections more fairly and equally representative?
 

DaveXA

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I've never seen someone put so much effort into encouraging people to have a defeatist attitude and that it's the only attitude that makes "rational common sense."

Why would anyone try so hard to persuade others not to even waste their time trying to make our elections more fairly and equally representative?
Who said that?
 

wardorican

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I've never seen someone put so much effort into encouraging people to have a defeatist attitude and that it's the only attitude that makes "rational common sense."

Why would anyone try so hard to persuade others not to even waste their time trying to make our elections more fairly and equally representative?
I'm late to this and I really don't want to get to the beginning on this, but let's keep in mind, in politics, there is only so much political capital and momentum. Picking the right first fight is often key to getting things done.

Look at how much momentum Trump lost when they started to dismantle the ACA, and finally showed their hand that their replacement plan was garbage. He had both houses. Sure, Democrats had the filibuster in the Senate, but they couldn't get that done? It was a losing battle for them to start, they dug a hole, and legislatively, he couldn't get much else done.
 
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superchuck500

superchuck500

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I thought this was the "The Constitution!" crowd. A Senator from Alabama has no business in challenging the electoral votes.

 

DJ1BigTymer

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They have no integrity, if they did, this trump Stupid Fest would not be happening. They wouldn't be installing Fed Judges at this point, they wouldn't be making foreign policy actions that will have a negative effect in the incoming administration and they wouldn't be condoning the anti-democratic actions of trump.
I thought this was the "The Constitution!" crowd. A Senator from Alabama has no business in challenging the electoral votes.

Case & fracking point!
 
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superchuck500

superchuck500

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Plenty of hoots in the Louisiana delegation who'll come to his rescue, starting with Clay Higgins.
Apart from some embarrassing and unsettling theater at the joint session, I don't see how they can actually change anything.

Electors perform in accordance with state law.
 

MT15

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The House certifies the electoral college vote, not the senate.

ETA: he’s a representative, so he would be involved. 🤦‍♀️
 

MT15

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Okay, so he needs to find a Senator to go along with this idea, and all it would do is cause a vote to be taken in each chamber. After which they will go back and recognize the vote of the electors. If I’m reading the article right. There is no way a majority in either chamber would vote to overturn the election at that late date. I’m not sure he could find a Senator willing to go on record with him to even make the vote happen. However, I would feel better if leadership on the R side would get a clue and stamp these fever dreams out.

Thanks for making me read the article, Chuck. 😁
 

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