Early this evening the electors gathered enough voted to make Trump the next president as was expected. I predict this is the beginning of the end of the electoral college.
An unprecedented legal maneuver is underway among 270 of our nation’s leaders and it seems too soon to predict the outcome. Harvard Law Professor Larry Lessig is among a group offering free legal counsel to “faithless electors” who wish to exert their 12th Amendment rights to not ratify Trump as president with the electoral college. The law firm Durie Tangri also offers the same legal support.
Legal opinions say that the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives electors the right to vote for anyone they choose.
On Friday a ruling by a three judge panel in U.S. Appeals Court in Colorado on Friday supported the right of Republican electors to vote against Trump. The curt ruling says the state Republican party officials cannot remove electors once electoral college voting begins. As far as I understand, it does not prevent the party from replacing Trump doubters with Trump supporters. While this ruling is not law in other districts, it does give support to other concerned electors in other states who wish to oppose the Trump election. This seems to be more important effect of the ruling.
The number of Republican electors needed to change the course of the election is 37. Lessing claims that the number of Republican electors are prepared to vote against Trump has grown from 20 to 30 in the past five days.
Most of the faithless electors appear to be concerned that Trump lost the national popular vote by a significant margin but is still poised to be seated based on old rules that the majority of Americans consider to be arcane.
Mainstream news sources to not seem to be taking the Lessing story seriously but it is an interesting bit of history in the making regardless of how it turns out.
My guess is that this eventually leads to a demise of the electoral college simply because this event proves it to be an ineffective tool in achieving the result that was intended.
I doubt the valiant effort will sway the outcome of the electoral college; unless perhaps I underestimate the impact of recent events including the Carrier scam and the appointment of the kakistocracy cabinet of mostly uneducated rich old white men. It does seem like more working class voters now realize they’ve been conned into voting for Trump but there is no visible indication of the full extent or voracity of that shift in public pinion.
It seems pretty clear that we’ve lost confidence in the voting process as a means to influence the direction of our future. The courts in several states including PA have blocked privately funded efforts to examine the voting machines and recount votes. No matter which side you are on, it seems unlikely that we will ever agree on who won the November popular election, who should have won the electoral college election, whether there was external influence, whether their was mechanical tampering, or whether there was deliberate fraud by officials or citizens. What a mess.